THE DENOUNCED is the beginning of a new YA Dystopian Trilogy that is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

Title: THE DENOUNCED – A GREY SUN

Series: THE DENOUNCED – BOOK ONE

Author: S.J. SHERWOOD

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Publisher: SELF-PUBLISHED – To find out why this author chose to self-publish, read his explanation HERE.

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: NOVEMBER 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-9997929-0-9

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

In a future divided into Secular and Non-Secular Quadrants, a crime punishable by death is to cross Quadrants and become a Denounced.

When sixteen-year-old Ned is wrongly convicted and kidnapped to a secret location, he meets ninety Denounced, and a terrifying truth begins to unfold — one that will change the world forever.

Forced to lead a Pod of five, Ned begins to realise thousands of lives could depend upon him. A survivor by nature, he now has to face his past, confront his destiny, and fight a System that has never lost.

MY REVIEW:

“In less than an hour my life will end.”

Thus begins THE GREY SUN, the first book in THE DENOUNCED TRILOGY.

I dare anyone to read that opening line and not be drawn into this book.

Who is this person that will die within an hour? What is happening? How does the person know he or she is going to die? Is this person a male or a female? How old are they? What is the reason they are going to die? Are they sick? How are they going to die? Is it a natural death? Is it murder? Who is going to kill him/her? Why? How does he/she know they are going to die? How do they know when they are going to die?

All these questions flash through the readers mind, and all of them (and more) are prompted from a sentence containing a mere nine words.

As we read a bit further, some of our questions begin to be answered, but each answer only spawns more questions, piques more curiosity and sucks the reader further into the story. The ability to achieve this is the mark of a talented author.

I love books that draw my attention immediately, and more importantly, are able to maintain my attention page after page. THE GREY SUN does exactly that.

It is difficult to believe that this is author S.J. Sherwood’s first ever attempt at writing Young Adult Fiction. He writes with the perfect voice for young adult audiences. In fact, if you were unaware of the above fact, you would think he has been writing fiction for teens for years.

Sixteen year old Ned is a character that will appeal to both teenage boys and teen girls. The guys will look up to him as a smart, tough protagonist that they would want to be friends with, young women will also look up to him, but they will also want him to be their new book-boyfriend.

How can a normal, red-blooded young woman not want to soothe Ned’s tortured soul and show him that he doesn’t need to be alone in the world any more? Add to that the fact that he would make an awesome protector and is both intelligent and resourceful, and you have the perfect recipe for a YA heartthrob.

Don’t let what I wrote above to take anything away from the story itself. Yes, Ned is “hot,” but that is only one tiny part of this tale.

The Dystopian world that S.J. Sherwood has imagined is revealed in small snippets and readers learn about Ned’s world as he learns about it. Although there is a resolution at the end of this book, there are also many unanswered questions which I am excited to find out the answers to. For some reason I do not feel cheated, even though I did not receive all the answers. Leaving questions unanswered without angering your readers is a difficult task to achieve, but this author somehow makes it seem easy.

I have read literally hundreds of Dystopian novels, for both Young Adult and Adult readers and this reality that S.J. Sherwood has created is one I will not forget. I think that part of the reason why I feel this way is because there is still so much to learn about Ned’s world. The possibilities are endless. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you enjoyed A GREY SUN – BOOK ONE of the DENOUNCED SERIES, you need to add SHIFTING HORIZONS to your watch list as it is the soon-to-be-released as the second thrilling instalment of this wickedly interesting Young Adult Dystopian series.

*** Thank you to NETGALLEY for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

QUOTES:

“It’s dangerous to let yourself dream when you’re in the System.”

“People will either come to you or they don’t, and if they don’t, you generally don’t want them anyway.”

“… I have to do something that I’m not good at, that I think none of us are good at, which is to work together. Be a team.”

“In the few days of being here, we’ve already become brainwashed … You start to become what they impose upon you. I have a natural urge to rebel against it … I ache so badly to be free.”

“Freedom is something you don’t dare talk about when you’re in the System.”

ABOUT THE REST OF THE DENOUNCED TRILOGY:

Book Two will be titled SHIFTING HORIZONS.

Pod Fifteen has escaped to an unknown Quadrant. Who do they trust and where do they go next?

If the rumours are true, thousands of orphans are heading toward Ilse’s trap. If Ned and the rest of Pod Fifteen are to save the orphans, they would need to return home and fight a System that wants Ned dead.

With time working against them and tough decisions to be made, hard-fought friendships will be put to the test. Loyalties will be cut to the bone. Character flaws will be further exposed.

What will Ned and Pod Fifteen ultimately do?

Find out in the next explosive instalment of The Denounced, available in the first half of 2018 with the final instalment, Book 3, CREAKING DAWN, set for later in the year.

If you would like a sneak preview, as well as additional information about the release dates, please sign-up for The Denounced Newsletter HERE.

ABOUT AUTHOR S.J. SHERWOOD:

S.J. Sherwood grew up in a small town in rural England and spent most of his youth dreaming of escaping to the bright lights of a metropolis.

His dream came true in the form of winning a Scholarship to Drama School. He was an actor for a short time. At various times in his life, he was a construction worker, a waiter, and an ice-cream man to name a few. He then went back to school and entered the corporate world.

The one constant in his life has been a passion for storytelling.

When he is not writing and spending time with those he loves, you’ll find him in a wetsuit, splashing in the sea, where he will be dreaming up his next story. He currently lives in London, England.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

AMAZON


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ESME’S WISH is an astonishinly brilliant new Young Adult book. 5 Enthusiastic Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: ESME’S WISH

Series: “ESME” SERIES: BOOK ONE

Author: ELIZABETH FOSTER

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY

Length: 252 PAGES

Publisher: ODYSSEY BOOKS

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: OCTOBER 30, 2017

ISBN: 9781925652246

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

DESCRIPTION:

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the actions of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. Esme soon discovers that her mother, Ariane – a talented painter of myths and legends – once led a secret second life in the crumbling canal city of Esperance. The more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her mother at all…

Esme’s Wish, a fantasy with a mystery at its heart, leads the reader into a beguiling world to which they’ll want to return again and again.

BOOK TRAILER:

MY REVIEW:

This is a tale that is utterly enchanting and totally consuming. I found myself even dreaming about the wonderous world of Aeolia created by the extremely talented Elizabeth Foster. This is something that rarely happens to me. In fact, I can count the number of times it has happened to me on a single hand.

To put that into perspective, only books such as R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and the HARRY POTTER series have had this effect on me. Am I saying that ESME’S WISH is on par with these genre-defining tales? Well, I won’t go quite that far yet, but only because this is only BOOK ONE. Ask me again once I have had the pleasure of reading the entire series.

Although this book is targeted at the Young Adult audience, as was the Harry Potter series, this book also holds incredible appeal for adult readers as well.

Esme is swept from a world in which her father remarries a woman she despises, giving up all hope after seven years that his wife will ever return. He, and everyone else, including Esme, believe that her mother is dead. She thinks that the reason she has been told that her mother was lost at sea is because they are hiding something much more sinister. Being a typical fifteen year old, she sets off to visit the last place her mother was seen alive – hoping for clues as to what really happened to her.

Instead of discovering a secret clue, she is swept into the sea and pulled through some sort of portal into the wonderous world of Aeolia. This reminds me of Harry Potter leaving London by going to platform nine and three quarters.

Who among us has not thought of somehow going to a different world? This book delivers on that fantasy and Elizabeth Foster’s world building is spot on. The people of this fantasy world all have some sort of magical gift which manifests in young adulthood. I don’t want to give anymore away, but the plot is terrific and readers will be drawn in and continually surprised by the mystery of what happened to Esme’s mother.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

QUOTE:

Esme “… had become entangled in matters… with forces far beyond [her] understanding – and it seemed there was no right way forward.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ELIZABETH FOSTER was born in Brisbane, Australia. She read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds.

Once she started writing, she never looked back. She is at her happiest when immersed in her stories and plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters.

Elizabeth now lives in Sydney, Australia where she can be found scribbling in cafés, indulging her love of both words and coffee.

Her first novel, Esme’s Wish, a fantasy-mystery for younger teens, was released by Odyssey Books on October 30, 2017. Esme’s Gift, the second in the trilogy will follow in late 2018.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

KOBO: You can read the first chapter HERE.

PUBLISHER OF ESME’S WISH:

ODYSSEY BOOKS is an Australian Independent publishing house. It was founded only eight years ago, in 2009 by Michelle Lovi.

They only publish 12 to 18 books per year. Odyssey Books produces quality literary and genre fiction, as well as memoirs and creative non-fiction.

They live for the adventures that books provide and are not afraid to take risks with new writers and new ideas.

To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

YOUTUBE

ROSEMARKED by Bestselling Author LIVIA BLACKBURNE hits shelves in 2 days. This book is destined to become a Bestseller, so grab your copy right away. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

Title: ROSEMARKED       

Author: LIVIA BLACKBURNE  

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY, ROMANCE, MULTICULTURAL BOOKS, DIVERSE BOOKS 

AGES: 12-18  GRADES: 7-12

Length: 400 PAGES

Publisher: HYPERION 

Type of Book: EBOOK

Received From: NETGALLEY 

Release Date: NOVEMBER 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-8855-4 (HARDCOVER)

Price: $US $17.99 / CAN $18.99

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


DESCRIPTION

A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art-until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule-even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes. 


MY REVIEW:

This YA novel has everything a teen reader could want. Rosemarked is a mixture of dystopian fiction and fantasy fiction and it combines the two genres perfectly.

Author Livia Blackburne has done an astonishing wonderful job of world-building. She has created not just a single city and its surrounding geography, but an entire continent.

She has created distinct races, each with their own distinct culture, religions and in some cases, language.

The two main characters are Zivah and Dineas. They come from completely different backgrounds and their life philosophies could not be more different. Yet their lives are inextricably entwined whether they like it or not.

As often happens in reality, the more time Zivah and Dineas spend together, the more they realize that despite their outward appearances, they are not so different after all. This is a lesson that readers will hopefully take to heart, and transfer into their own lives; thus reducing racial discrimination in the real world.

I was particularly impressed with Zivah’s character. She is a strong young woman who knows what she wants and will let nothing or noone get in the way of achieving her goal. Even though she is tough and fierce, she is also a caring person who wants to alleviate the suffering of others, even when it puts herself at risk. She is a terrific role model for the teens who will be reading this book.

Those who enjoy books with lots of action, some intricate politics, and a dash of romance will love ROSEMARKED. It is for this reason that I am rating this Young Adult novel as 5 out of 5 Stars and I predict that ROSEMARKED will take ìts rightful place on Teen Bestseller lists shortly after its release on Tuesday, November 7th.

**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.** 

Enter Livia Blackburne’s giveaway to win a signed copy and some swag by clicking HERE.     


ADD THIS BOOK TO GOODREADS:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 


New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while she was a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neuroscience of reading acquisition in children.  Upon graduation, she switched to writing full time, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner.  


To learn more about this author visit the following links
:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS 

TWITTER 

FACEBOOK 

INSTAGRAM 

WATTPAD 

AMAZON 
  


FROM LIVIA BLACKBURNE’S WEBSITE – NINE THINGS ABOUT HER…  

1. She writes fantasy. Most often YA fantasy, but sometimes she branches  out.

2. She was born in Taiwan, raised in Albuqurque, and spent her twenties in Boston, where she earned an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard and PhD in cognitive neuroscience from MIT.

3. She started her debut novel Midnight Thief in high school, because writing a novel was the only way she could get out of the mandatory camping requirement.  She finished about 60 pages.  They were 60 awful, awful pages. She finished Midnight Thief 12 years later, because writing a novel was the only way she could keep her sanity while conducting  doctoral research.  This time, she got to 370 pages, and they were much less awful than the initial 60.

4. She writes a blog about psychology and neuroscience for writers.  You can check it out here

5. Like every good Asian kid, she played the piano as a child.  She doesn’t  do that as much anymore, but still loves to sing and dance.

6. She is horrible at any sport that involve fast moving projectiles, and  dislikes most sports that involve highly repetitive movements (running, swimming, biking, etc.).  This leaves basically dancing and martial arts.

7. When she wanted sweets as a child, her mother would give her one M&M.  She thought that was normal, and to this day, has a very low tolerance for sweets.  One bite of chocolate bar, half a scoop of ice cream is about all she can take.

8. If she had to choose one author with the biggest influence on her reading and writing development, it would be Tamora Pierce.

9. Some of her favorite books:  The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner, Plain Kate by Erin Bow, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  

AUMA’S LONG RUN by Debut Author EUCABETH ODHIAMBO is a fascinating look at the African AIDS epidemic from the point of view of a pre-teen girl. 

Title: AUMA’S LONG RUN     

Author: EUCABETH ODHIAMBO 

Genre: FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION

Length: 293 PAGES

Publisher: CAROLRHODA BOOKS – A DIVISION OF LERNER PUBLISHING GROUP      
Type of Book: HARDCOVER    

Received From: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY     

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-2784-4   

Price: $17.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS                          🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

DESCRIPTION:   

Auma loves to run. In her small Kenyan village, she’s a track star with big dreams. A track scholarship could allow her to attend high school and maybe even become a doctor. But a strange new sickness called AIDS is ravaging the village, and when her father becomes ill, Auma’s family needs her help at home.

Soon more people are getting sick—even dying—and no one knows why.

Now Auma faces a difficult choice. Should she stay to support her struggling family or leave to pursue her own future? Auma knows her family is depending on her, but leaving might be the only way to find the answers to questions about this new disease.  

 

MY REVIEW:

This novel is targeted at young adults and middle-grade readers, however it will also appeal to adults.

It is author Eucabeth Odhiambo’s debut novel and was released less than two months ago.

It tells the tale of 12 year old Auma who lives with her family in a small village in Kenya. It is set in the 1980s when AIDS was first rearing its ugly head in Africa and when very little information was known about the disease.

People are dying every week in Auma’s small village and noone really knows why. They nicknamed the disease “Slim,” probably because patients wasted away before they died.

People didn’t understand why only adults were dying. The young and the elderly seemed to be spared. However, the young were often left as orphans and had to struggle to earn enough money so they wouldn’t starve. Unfortunately, many of these “AIDS Orphans” did end up starving to death.

Auma wants to get educated. She wants to become a doctor But, to do that she must first attend high school. How can she attend school even if she does receive a scholarship when her family needs her to either marry or work to keep her siblings alive?

This tale is not the story of any specific individual or family. Instead, it is the story of what many in Kenya endured before proper information was learned about this heinous disease.

AUMA’S LONG RUN contains wonderfully evocative writing that brings the setting to life for readers. This is demonstrated even in the simplest of sentences, such as: “The rays of the setting sun felt like tongues of fire upon my back.”

The characters are heart-breakingly believable and it is impossible for readers not to feel empathy for Auma and her family. The fact that author Eucabeth Odhiambo grew up in Kenya explains why the setting feels so authentic.

Part of why I like this book so much is that the author does not shy away from the horror of the AIDS victims that Auma encounters. The author wrote this book with the education of readers in mind, and educate she does. Auma sees the lesions and sores appear on her mother’s skin and takes care of her as she wastes away.
This is important. Readers need to know that AIDS is a horrific disease. As Auma learns more about the disease ravaging her village, the reader also learns. Eucabeth Odhiambo has written a story that both entertains and educates her readers and for that, she should be applauded.

I highly recommend this book and rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars for Middle-grade readers. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

To hear the author read an excerpt from Auma’s Long Run click HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

Eucabeth Odhiambo is a professor of teacher education at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

As a classroom teacher she has taught all grades between kindergarten and middle school.

Eucabeth grew up in Kenya in the 80’s and 90’s and saw her friends and relatives directly impacted by the disease. “There were so many deaths,  [Eucabeth], like Auma, had many unanswered questions – partly because information simply wasn’t available, and partly because [her] society did not encourage open conversation about the disease.”

After moving to the United States in the early 2000s, Eucabeth obtained her doctoral degree and while studying AIDS education in Kenyan schools,      she returned to Kenya to interview both children and teachers. She spoke to many AIDS orphans and “…was amazed at how strong these children were. Of course they struggled under the weight of depression and desperation – not to mention threat of starvation – but life had to go on.”

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

GOODREADS    

FACEBOOK    

AMAZON     

CHAPTERS      

BARNES AND NOBLE    

 

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:  

Committed to Education Since 1959

Lerner Publishing Group is one of the nation’s largest independently owned children’s publishers with more than 5,000 books in print. For more than 50 years, they’ve created nonfiction and fiction books for pre-school to young adult readers and for libraries, classrooms, and homes across the country.

They bring together authors, illustrators, photographers, and educators to ensure that each book is age-appropriate and meets curriculum standards. Lerner books are thoroughly researched and exceptionally written with amazing illustrations and captivating photography that hold readers’ attention. And because each year brings a new class of students, we use our proprietary Muscle Bound®hardcover library binding so our books last a lifetime in the classroom and library. We guarantee it.

Learn more about this Publisher by clicking on the links below:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

TWITTER    

FACEBOOK       

INSTAGRAM   

HAVEN by Mary Lindsey Blog Tour & Giveaway – Win an Amazon Gift Card



Haven
Mary Lindsey
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter


GIVEAWAY!

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F.O.L.D. BOOK BASH was terrific – Check out the amazing and diverse authors, poets and publishers I met on Saturday.



F.O.L.D. stands for FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY 

Today at City Hall in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, FOLD hosted the 2017 Book Bash. 

WHAT IS A FOLD BOOK BASH?

  • A one-day book market designed to give authors and book selling organizations a space to promote their books. 
  • A chance for the community to learn about books written by local authors
  • The ability for consumers to learn about and to purchase multicultural books that reflect the diversity of the city and  country in which they live
  • A chance to meet the authors of those books and to have them autographed 
  • As well as the chance to listen to authors read from, and talk about their books. 

    FOLD is the first and only literary festival in Canada to focus on diverse authors and stories.

    The first Festival of Literary Diversity was held in May 2016 and included more than 25 unique sessions held over three days with over thirty of Canada’s most exciting authors.

    Mark your calendars for May 3rd to May 5th, 2018 for the next Festival. There will be quite a few authors and publishers with many different sessions to choose from.

    CHECK IT OUT – YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID. 

    AUTHORS I MET ON SATURDAY  & SOME AMAZING BOOKS YOU NEED TO OWN


    #1. 

    JAEL RICHARDSON 


    Jael Richardson
     is one busy woman. Besides being the Founder and Creative Art Director of the Festival of Literary Diversity, she is also an author in her own right.

    Her book THE STONE THROWER: A DAUGHTER’S LESSON, A FATHER’S LIFE is a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist and was adapted into a children’s book in 2016. 

    To learn more about Jael, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE      

    GOODREADS          

    TWITTER    

    FACEBOOK          

    INSTAGRAM        

    CHAPTERS              

    This is me with Jael at the 2017 FOLD Book Bash

    #2. 

    DEJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. She finds her inspiration for her poetry in family, friends and everyday experiences.  

    DĖJA BEALS has been writing poetry since the age of 16. You would never know that during those early writing days, her poetry was filled with incorrect grammar. Now, like Déja herself, her writing has matured and
     developed. Her work has blossomed to include a range of topics such as love, faith and everyday experiences.

    Déja finds her poetic inspiration in family, friends and her daily experiences.

    She is known for her silly moments, big laugh and even bigger heart. She has been said to have wisdom beyond her years and uncanny insight which adds depth to her writing. She is currently living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE     

    DÉJA’S OFFICIAL BLOG     

    GOODREADS      

    TWITTER     

    FACEBOOK     

    INSTAGRAM    


    AMAZON          

    DISCOVERING DIVERSITY PUBLISHING    

    3, 4 and 5.

    I met these three very gracious and amazing women at the FOLD Brampton Book Bash. 

    About the multitalented Catherine Graham – Not only has she written the fiction novel QUARRY but she is also only days away from the launch off her new poetry collection THE CELERY FOREST which is being published by Wolsak and Wynn

    Author and Poet – CATHERINE GRAHAM

    QUARRY is a fictional story set in Southern Ontario during the 1980s. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerge, Caitlin must confront the past and face her uncertain future. 

    THE CELERY FOREST      

    Like Wonderland or Oz, Neverland or Narnia, The Celery Forest is an extraordinary world filled with strange creatures and disorienting sights. But the doorway to the Celery Forest is not a rabbit hole or an old wardrobe. The doorway is an MRI. For poet and novelist Catherine Graham, this is the topsy-turvy world she found herself in after learning she had breast cancer.

         More than a survivor’s tale, these poems are a map through unknowable terrain, infused with awareness and forgetting, written by a poet with the visionary ability to distill our sense of wonder into something we can hold.
    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CATHERINE GRAHAM, VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS: 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

    GOODREADS 

    TWITTER   

    FACEBOOK    

    INSTAGRAM      

    AMAZON       


    CHAPTERS         

         
    #4.  

    Publisher & Author Alexander Leggett  

    CEO and Founder of Two Wolves Press, Alexandra Leggat is the author of the novel The Incomparables as well as several other published works. 

    Alexandra started Two Wolves  Press as a way to nurture talent without compromise  – to work closely with Two Wolves writers to follow and trust their intuition and publish “instinctual fiction”. 

    Two Wolves Press publishes Catherine Graham’s novel QUARRY and
    Aileen Santos’ SOMEONE LIKE YOU.

    To learn more about this Publisher and author, visit the following links:
     
    OFFICIAL WEBSITE   


    GOODREADS     

    TWITTER   

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    NEW RELEASE – “CROSSING THE LINE” by Bibi Belford is Historical Middle-grade Fiction at its finest. A 5 Star Read recommended for ages 10 to 110. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

    Title: CROSSING THE LINE

    Author: BIBI BELFORD    

    Genre: FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE FICTION, DIVERSE BOOKS, HISTORICAL FICTION

    Length: 287 PAGES

    Publisher: SKY PONY PRESS – An Imprint of SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

    Type of Book: HARDCOVER

    Received From: PUBLISHER

    Release Date: AUGUST 22, 2017  

    ISBN: 978-1-5107-0800-6 

    Price:  $15.99 USD

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  


    DESCRIPTION:

    “I’m excited about my new historical fiction,CROSSING THE LINE, a middle grade novel to be published in 2017 by Sky Pony Press.

    It’s set in Bridgeport, Chicago in 1919, and told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Billy McDermott.

    Billy is pretty sure skin color doesn’t matter. Not when you and Foster, your fifth grade buddy and his brothers, Odelle and Emmett, are just horsing around, building a raft.

    But in the Red Summer of 1919, it does matter, and Billy’s misguided innocence causes Odelle’s murder, igniting Chicago’s bloodiest race riot.”

    Bibi Belford, Author of Crossing the Line, Canned and Crushed, and other middle grade fiction.


    MY REVIEW:


    CROSSING THE LINE
     is a brand new middle-grade fiction novel released August 22nd, 2017. The timing of this book’s release could not be better.

    With racial tensions currently  rising across the United States, it is time to remind adults that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. Even though this book is targeted at children between the ages of 10-14, it is written in such a way that adults will enjoy reading it as well.

    Set in the year 1919, this is a fictional story told around actual historic events. CROSSING THE LINE would be perfect for book reports and/or book clubs. I believe that after reading this book, children will be interested in digging deeper and learning more about their nation’s history. Even if that does not happen, readers will find themselves with a much better understanding of the role of race in American history. 

    I love the fact that author Bibi Belford chose 1919 as the time period for this book. The events in the book occur after the soldiers who survived have returned from World War One. In fact, the main character, Billy, is dealing with his father’s return from the war. Instead of returning as a celebrated, conquering hero, Billy’s Dad is confined to the Veterans Hospital with a severe case of Shell Shock. This leaves Billy as the “Man of the House” and leaves his mother struggling to provide her family with a roof over their heads and to put food on their table.

    To help reduce household expenses, Billy leaves the Catholic school he has always attended and in which he was just another Irish Catholic kid, like all the other students. There was zero diversity among the students and their families.

    Now attending Public School, Billy befriends a student in his class named Foster. Both boys love baseball and bond over that as well as the fact that both their fathers fought in the war.

    The author took this picture of CERMAK BRIDGE which is where one of the scenes in the book takes place.

    Foster is black and even though the two boys see nothing wrong with being friends, but when the city’s residents find out about it, a series of events take place that culminates in murder and citywide mayhem.

    five policemen and one soldier with a rifle standing on a street corner during a race riot in the Douglas community areaof Chicago, Illinois

    A white gang looking for Black victims

    An African American being stoned during the race riots

    With perfection in character building, and a plot that will have readers riveted, CROSSING THE LINE is a 5 Star Read. It will remind people of one of the darkest periods in Chicago’s history and remind us that small actions matter. The time to stand up against racism is now. We cannot allow history to repeat itself.

    I highly recommend this book and I would like to thank the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Teacher-turned-Author  

    |  Literacy Advocate  |  

    Educational Consultant

     Gardening Enthusiast 

     |  Writer-Mentor  

    |  Admirer of Lighthouses

     | Kid’s-Fiction Writer

    Bibi Belford is the author of books for middle grade readers: CROSSING THE LINE, CANNED AND CRUSHED, THE GIFT, and ANOTHER D FOR DEEDEE (coming 2018). 

    She lives in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois with her husband. She enjoys books, gardening, beaches, and spending time with her grandchildren. 

    Belford also works as an educational consultant and volunteers in public schools. She is a member of CWA – Chicago Writers Association, SCBWI-Illinois, and has served as a panelist for author Success Stories at the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

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    ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 

    Launched in fall 2011, Sky Pony Press is the children’s book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Following in the footsteps of our parent company, our goal is to provide books for readers with a wide variety of interests. Our continually growing list includes fiction, picture books, educational books, novelty books, and midgrade, and we even reissue some well-loved classics. Since we do not view our potential readers as generic age groups, but rather as individual children, each with specific talents and needs, we publish in a broad range of subject matter to celebrate their diverse interests.

    To learn more about Sky Pony Press click on the logo above, or click HERE.

    *** Thank you to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of CROSSING THE LINE. 



    VANGUARD by the talented ANN AGUIRE – Book 4 in the Razorland Series 

    Title: VANGUARD    

    Series: RAZORLAND – BOOK FOUR

    Author: ANN AGUIRRE      

    Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION 

    Length: 368 PAGES

    Publisher: MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING GROUP      

    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY 

    Release Date: JULY 25, 2017

    ISBN: 9781250089823 (HARDCOVER)

    Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

      


    DESCRIPTION

    This book begins ten months after ‘The War of the River.’

    Tegan sets out to fulfill her mentor’s last request and to fulfill the wanderlust in her soul. She is accompanied on her journey by Millie Faraday, who is trying to outrun her reputation of being “the kindest girl in the free territories.” 

    On her way to the first stop on their  adventure, she encounters Szarok, the Vanguard of the Uroch. Szarok offers to travel with them and Tegan accepts, knowing there is safety in traveling with him.

    When Tegan is offered a job as a ‘long-haul ship’s doctor’ Millie, James and Szarok all sign onto the ship as well. Each has a different reason for traveling aboard the ship, but none is more important than Szarok’s reason. He is on a mission to save his people and despite the strange feelings he experiences whenever in Tegan’s presence, he is determined to fulfill his mission.

    Tegan’s affection for the strange but somehow beautiful Uroch grows over time and she defends him from the blatant prejudices of other humans.

    As their time together lengthens, it is Tegan who, through stormy seas and a variety of strange, new lands, will become stronger than she ever knew possible.


    THE MORAL OF THE STORY:  

    The very thinly veiled moral of this story is that prejudice is NOT OK. This may seem like a very basic idea to many of us, but unfortunately, there are still many people who have yet to recognize this very basic truth. 



    MY REVIEW:

    The previous three books in the Razorland saga followed the adventures (and romance) of Deuce and Fade. Tegan was very much part of the story, but she was never the sole focus. In VANGUARD, Tegan steps out of the shadows and takes center stage.

    Although this is the fourth book in the series, it also works as a stand-alone novel. Those who have read the first three books in the Razorland saga will be able to connect with the history of the post-apocalyptic world they live in as we as what led Tegan to this point in her life. Author Ann Aguire has included enough detail about the past that new readers will not find their enjoyment diminished in any way. In fact, I believe new readers will be so intrigued by VANGUARD they will want to run out and buy the rest of the Razorland saga immediately.

    The story begins once Tegan’s Doctor/Mentor/Father-Figure dies and she decides to head out into the world. Tegan’s skill as a healer affords her the ability to provide for herself wherever she goes.

    When she meets up with Szarok at the beginning of her journey. Szarok offers to travel with her and although the peace between his “people” and the regular humans is tenuous, his offer affords Tegan a measure of security that she knew she would be foolish to refuse.

    Tegan and Szarok start off their journey as acquaintances who both find each other visually unappealing and dislike each other’s scents and eating habits. They do recognize certain similarities, but their historical and cultural differences and the clear division between their “tribes” are not easily put aside.

    When the two end up stranded alone together they learn more about each other and their differences cease to be an issue. This is realistic. Once you spend time with someone, regardless of their race or faith you realize that surface differences no longer matter. This is a lesson that is important. People need to understand that skin color, religion, and other differences are not the entirety of a person – they are just the wrapper. It is what is inside that matters.

    This situation reminds me of racial differences  and smacks of ingrained discrimination. Readers should be able to relate Tegan and Szarok’s tale to instances of interracial or interfaith relationships.

    This book is an extremely easy read and its length makes it perfect for a weekend at the cottage, the beach, at a campground or for a lazy weekend at home.

    Ann Aguirre uses her considerable writing talent to pen a romance between unlikely characters. Readers can view this book as just a wonderful, light-hearted romance, or they can look a little deeper. If readers choose to look deeper, they will realize this book as one that combats racism.

    Choosing two different races as her main characters, Ann Aguirre demonstrates a truth that many people have yet to embrace; the fact that just because a person looks different from you on the outside does NOT mean they are different on the inside.

    I rate VANGUARD as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

    The only reason this book did not receive a 5th Star was that in some ways, the plot was predictable. However, this did not in any way diminish my enjoyment in reading this tale.

    To read more of my reviews – Follow me here on my blog as well as on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER   

    * A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

    Author Photograph and description obtained from her website.

    Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links: 

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    STARBORN by Lucy Hounsom may just be one of the best YA Fantasy books to be published in the past few years. A 5 Star Read that will appeal to everyone 16 and up.

    Title: STARBORN     

    Series: THE WORLDMAKER TRILOGY: BOOK ONE    

    Author: LUCY HOUNSOM 

    Genre: FANTASY FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, NEW RELEASE /COMING SOON 

    Length: 544 PAGES

    Publisher: TOR – An Imprint of MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LTD    
    Type of Book: EBOOK

    Received From: NETGALLEY   

    Release Date: AUGUST 24TH, 2019 

    ISBN: 978-1-4472-6845-1 (Hardcover)   

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟    

    MY REVIEW:     

    Firstly, I need to address the title of this book. If you are the type of person to judge a book by its cover, (everyone does this at least to some degree) you will miss out on a phenomenal book. The cover and title tend to make potential readers think this book will be about outer space and will be a sci-fi novel, however, this is not the case. Starborn is a perfect example of fantasy fiction at its finest.

    I literally devoured this book. The characters are so vividly described that a picture of each of them immediately formed in my mind. Not only that, but each character has a fully imagined history that further fleshes out their believability.

    This is the first book in the WorldMaker trilogy and even though this book hasn’t been released in North America yet, I am already wishing that I could get my hands on the next book in the series. I believe not only that this book is destined to become a Bestseller, but that it will also be optioned for it’s film rights.

    This story has just the right amount of betrayal and dedication, fantasy, magic, history, romance, frustration,  ingenuity and truly astounding world-building which all combine to create a surefire winning combination.

    Not since the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hunger Games trilogy have I encountered an author with the ability to so seamlessly craft a complex epic tale of right and wrong, of good and evil and with the ability to build an entire world from nothing but their own imagination. The name of Lucy Hounsom will soon be on the lips of North American readers and publishers all over the continent, and rightly so. 

    I highly recommend this book to both youth and to adults who love epic adventure stories.

    This book will grab your attention from the first page and it will not let go. It is because of its ability to entrance the reader and because of the author’s incredible world-building, that I have no choice but to rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

    My recommendation is to mark your calendars for August 24th and grab your copy right away since this amazing book is bound to sell out quickly.

    * A special Thank You to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.   

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR (In Her Own Words):   

    * obtained from her website
    * Author Photos by LOU ABERCROMBIE

    I live in the hilly, red shores of the Jurassic Coast. It’s a beautiful, mysterious part of the country (U.K.), steeped in myth and folklore. And so unsurprisingly, it’s a perfect place in which to make up stories.

    In the vein of most writers, I’ve been making up stories for a long time. I grew up in the tamer neighbourhood of the Thames Valley, where I used to think I’d be an actor. I attended theatre school for six years, worked professionally on stage and screen and took an awful lot of dancing exams. That changed when I hit 15. I was writing a novel (like most normal teenagers), and quite randomly thought: wouldn’t it be cool to do this all the time?  

    I’ve always loved books, perhaps because my parents read so much to us as children. Dad favoured classics like The Day of the Triffids andHothouse, which – though possibly a bit advanced for under 10s – exposed us both to a multitude of words. (Yes, my sister’s a writer too). But the books that really stayed with me were J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

    I am irrevocably drawn to fantasy. As an unsociable teenage misfit, I read mountains of it. Growing up, some of my favourite writers were Robin Hobb, the three Terrys (Brooks, Goodkind and Pratchett), Robert Jordan, Patricia A. McKillip, Ursula Le Guin, David Eddings and Alan Garner. J. K. Rowling holds a special place in my heart for all those summer evenings I spent re-reading Harry Potter, wishing for adventures at Hogwarts.

    That first novel still exists on my hard drive, quietly embarrassing me, but despite its flaws, I’m glad I wrote it. Working on the principle that if you’ve done something once, you can do it again, I studied creative writing at university for four years in the hope that I’d be better prepared the second time around. Creating something as vast and complex as a novel is fun, terrifying, exciting, torturous and pretty much every emotion in between. 

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

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    LOVE, ISH by Karen Rivers is a unique and engaging middle-grade novel that should be read by all ages. 

    Title: LOVE-ISH    

    Author: KAREN RIVERS     

    Genre: MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

    Length: 236 PAGES

    Publisher: DANCING CAT BOOKS   

    Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

    Received From: THE AUTHOR  

    Release Date: APRIL 22, 2017 

    ISBN: 978-1-77086-492-4   

    Price: $12.95 CDN    

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟 
    DESCRIPTION:

    Mischa “Ish” Love knows she’ll be one of the first settlers on Mars. She’s applied to – and been rejected from – the Mars Now project forty-seven times, but the mission won’t leave for ten years, and Ish hasn’t given up hope. She also hasn’t given up hope that Tig will be her best friend again. 

    When Ish collapses on the first day of seventh grade, she gets a diagnosis that threatens all her future plans. As Ish fights cancer, she dreams in vivid detail about the Martian adventures she’s always known she’d have – and makes unexpected discoveries about love, fate, and her place in the world. 


    MY REVIEW:

    Most Middle-grade books, especially those targeted at female readers, seem to contain little more than what I call “fluff.”

    From their stereotypical pink covers to the oh so dreamy boy the main character has a crush on, Middle-Grade books for girls SUCK!!!

    I LOVE that LOVE, ISH is different from any other book targeted at Middle-grade readers.

    The cover of this book is awesome. It shows off Ish’s long red hair, and the artist’s decision to have her standing on the globe of Earth and looking towards Mars is 100% perfection.

    I was not as happy with the description on the back of the book as I was with it’s cover. It does not really do this book justice, but I have the feeling that this was done on purpose to grab the interest of the target age group. Once they begin reading and are pulled into the story, they will realize that this book is truly one of a kind. Readers will discover that even though there are some very serious issues discussed in this book, they will want to keep reading despite the fact that they will be learning in the process.

    Parents who do not try to keep their middle-grade children in a bubble and who realize that kids are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for, will want to buy this book for their sons and their daughters. Just because the protagonist is female, does not mean that this is a girl’s book. In fact, both boys and girls will be able to relate to Ish and to her struggle to find her place in the world [or, maybe on Mars instead.]

    The writing style of author KAREN RIVERS draws middle-grade readers into the story instantaneously. Her knowledge of what clothing and footwear appeal to this age group is an example of her attention to detail, sibling rivalry and the jealousies that seem petty to adults but feel so very important to tweens and teens are another example.

    Ish’s dream is to be the first woman/girl to live on Mars. In pursuit of this goal, she has read anything and everything that she could get her hands on that has to do with Mars and about the difficulties of colonizing a new planet.

    I love that this book encourages readers to dream big. Ish found a website where people can apply to be part of the first Mars colony expedition. She is only twelve years old and has already applied more than 40 times. She has received a rejection every time so far, but she will not give up hope. She plans to keep applying until they finally accept her. The message implied by Ish’s actions is twofold. First, young people have dreams and aspirations and should be encouraged to follow those dreams, no matter how unlikely they seem. Secondly, the message to others is to be tenacious, and to not allow setbacks (or the opinions of others) to stop you from pursuing your dreams.

    This book deserves a very high rating. There is so much contained in it’s pages that is unlike any other middle-grade book on the market. In fact, even though the target readership is ages 10 through 15, I believe that readers of all ages will fall ìn love with LOVE, ISH and that upon completion, they will recommend it to their friends and families. 

    I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars in the Middle-grade Fiction category.    🌟🌟🌟🌟

    FAVORITE QUOTES:

    “Living with Elliott is sort of like coexisting with a talking, breathing shard of broken glass. You never know when it’s going to poke you in the foot and leave you bleeding all over the clean floor.”


    “My brain is basically a salad spinner, whirling unrelated ideas.”


    “The thing with chemo is that it is the worst and also, it sucks all the energy out of me, leaving me as floppy as a piece of paper. I feel like I’m constantly carrying something heavy, but that heavy thing is me.” 


    ***** CAUTION *****


    *****STOP READING THIS REVIEW NOW IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW WHAT ISSUES ARE BROUGHT UP IN “LOVE, ISH.” *****

    So, if you are reading this, you have decided that you want to know. Good for you! I would have made the same choice.

    Some very important social issues are discussed in LOVE, ISH. Some of these are discussed below: 

    Ish lives on the shores of a lake in California and, just like in real life, the lake is getting smaller and smaller. 

    In fact, the lake pictured below is called Lake Cachuma which is Santa Barbara’s primary water source. According to the New York Times, it is currently only at 7% capacity and is expected to dry up completely by the end of 2017. 

    – Above is a picture of Lake Cachuma as it is today.

    – Below is a picture of that same lake when it was full of water. The difference is staggering. 


    [To learn more about California’s very real and extremely terrifying present-day water crisis, click 
    HERE]    

    Not only is the lake water disappearing, but before that started happening, a large chemical company located on the opposite side of the lake from Ish’s home, spilled a large amount of toxic waste into the lake. 

    Ish even mentions the fact that the water changed to a bright blue color for several weeks after the incident.
    Unfortunately, this type of corporate negligence happens way too often in our world today. 

    It is an issue that our children will be left to try to remedy when they grow up. Not only that, but the polluted water can (and often does) end up entering into the water that comes from the taps in our homes. Recent news stories regarding the tainted water supply in Michigan prove that this is very much a relevant and legitimate problem. 

     
    This will not only affect our children in the future, but it can cause very real, and very scary health problems, right now. 

    What happens to Ish (being diagnosed with a brain tumor) could, in fact, have been due to the toxic spillage into the lake behind her house. This possibility is not explicitly mentioned  in the book, but astute readers will pick up on it anyway. 


    [To learn more about recent toxic spills into lakes, rivers and oceans click 
    HERE

    Ish passes out on her first day of middle-school and it is discovered that she has a brain tumor. She undergoes chemotherapy and radiation treatments and the author does not shy away from writing about the aftereffects of those treatments.

    “The thing with chemo is that it is the worst and also, it sucks all the energy out of me, leaving me as floppy as a piece of paper. I feel like I’m constantly carrying something heavy, but that heavy thing is me.”

    I cannot think of any other middle-grade book that writes so openly and honestly about this topic. In other middle-grade books, if cancer is mentioned at all, the authors usually gloss over the details, and, almost always, the cancer sufferer is an adult, not a child. It is my opinion that by doing this, we are doing a disservice to our children. With the prevalence of cancer in today’s society, it is likely that most children will experience cancer in some way; whether it is a friend, or a family member, or even just the old lady who lives down the street.


    [To learn more about childhood cancers click 
    HERE]

    I give HUGE Kudos to Author KAREN RIVERS for writing such an important and yet entertaining novel. I hope everyone who reads this review runs out and buys her book immediately. 

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR Information was taken directly from the author’s website. 

    Q & A About Karen Rivers

    Where were you born?

    I was born in Nanaimo, BC, on June 12, 1970.  

    Where do you live?

    I live in a little green house in Victoria, BC with two kids, two dogs, and two birds.  

    Where did you go to school?

    I did most of my schooling in Victoria.  After I graduated, I went to UVic for a couple of years, then I went to UBC and ended up with a degree in International Relations (‘91) and most of a degree in Physiology, that I never quite finished.  

    Why did you become a writer?

    I became a writer because I didn’t have any other choice. Every time I tried to stop writing, a new idea would pop into my head.  Sometimes I wish I had a job with regular hours (and a regular paycheque!) but mostly I feel incredibly lucky to be able to tell my stories for a living.

    Where do you get your titles?

    I don’t know!  Much like writing the books, I think a lot of it is magic.  And sometimes, my editor comes up with a much better title, so we use that one instead!   Writing a book is like being part of a big team.

    What were you like when you were a kid?

    Karen at age 10

    I was a bookworm. I read so many books, it was ridiculous. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books. I was also really skinny. When I was nine, I got glasses. Big glasses. It was the 1970s and/or 1980s, so that’s what glasses looked like. I had a lot of bad haircuts. I blushed a lot. I never knew how to do a cartwheel. I thought they’d teach us at school but it turned out everyone else knew how to do one before they even got there! I was pretty quiet and very shy. I think I was sometimes funny, too. I was always competitive so I got good grades. I think at different stages of my life, I was a lot like some of my characters.  I still am.  I think we are all always every age that we’ve ever been, like the layers of an onion. 

    What’s your favourite book for kids?

    For a long time, I avoided reading kids’ books or YA at all because I thought if I read someone else’s book, I might think my own books didn’t measure up and I would be filled with self-doubt.  I hate to think about all the great books that I missed by worrying about that.  Now I read a lot of YA and Middle Grade, so much that I have a hard time picking a favourite, but today I”m going to say that Rebecca Stead’s WHEN YOU REACH ME is topping the list.     

    Are you married?

    No.

    Do you have any pets?

    Yes.  I have a dog named Happy and a dog named Augie.  They are rescue dogs.  And I have two birds, named Herbert and Feisty.   

    Do you write every day?

    Yes.  Even if I don’t actually write it down, I’m always thinking about the book that I’m working on, and trying to unravel all the tangly bits.  

    Writing every day is necessary to keep me from panicking.  It makes me feel more sane than when I don’t write every day. But I do take some days off.  That’s life!  You can say, “Oh, every day I will drink 8 glasses of water!”  But the truth is, some days you just aren’t that thirsty.  The same is true for writing. 

    What’s your favourite of your books?

    I’m so proud of all of them for different reasons, I could never pick a favourite.  Usually my most favourite is the one I’m working on right now.

    What’s your favourite colour?

    Green.

    Lucky numbers?

    3. And 14.  And, of course, 42.

    Favourite ice cream?

    Coconut


    To learn more about this amazing Canadian author visit the following links: 

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