Book Tours: Starter Day Party The Sailweaver’s Son

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I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for MG/YA fantasy “The Sailweaver’s Son”. The tour runs from September 29 to October 29.

Tour Schedule

September 29th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

September 29th: Guest Post @ SolaFide Publishing Blog

September 30th: Book Excerpt @ Jessica and Gracie’s Tree

October 2nd: Book Excerpt @ The Bookworm Lodge

October 5th: Book Excerpt @ Ms. J Mentions

October 7th: Book Review @ Adventures Through Wonderland

October 11th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

October 14th: Book Excerpt @ Just Books

October 15th: Book Review @ Pop’s Blog

October 19th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

October 21st: Book Excerpt @ Paige Turner Reads

October 23rd : Character Interview @ The Book Daily

October 25th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

October 27th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

October 29th: Author Interview @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

About the Book

front coverTitle: The Sailweaver’s Son

Author: Jeff Minerd

Genre: MG/YA Fantasy

The Sailweaver’s Son combines traditional fantasy with a dash of steampunk and takes young readers to a unique world—Etherium. A world where mountains rise like islands above a sea of clouds and adventurers travel the sky in sail-driven airships.

When fifteen year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.

Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage and treason. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. Rumors spread that the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of loathsome but ingenious underground creatures. The King’s advisors call for war, hoping to win much-needed Gublin coal.

To clear his name, solve the mystery, and prevent a misguided war, Tak must do what anyone knows is suicide—visit the Gublins and find out what they’re up to. When the wizard’s adopted daughter, an oddly beautiful and irksomely intelligent girl from the Eastern kingdoms, asks Tak to help her do just that, he can’t say no.

The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.

Author Bio

Jeff 2Jeff Minerd thought he stopped writing fiction a long time ago until the story for The Sailweaver’s Son came to him not in a dream but after a dream. He is grateful for that, and for the opportunity to explore the world of Etherium and entertain others with what he finds there.

Jeff has a son, Noah, who is also a writer and avid reader. Jeff hopes to one day place in the top ten—or maybe even top five—of Noah’s favorite authors. But the competition is pretty stiff.

In a previous lifetime, Jeff published short fiction in literary journals including The North American Review. One of his stories won the F. Scott Fitzgerald competition, judged by former NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse.

More recently, Jeff has worked as a science and medical writer for publications and organizations including the National Institutes of Health, MedPage Today, The Futurist magazine, and the Scientist magazine.

Jeff lives in Rochester, NY.

Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

Book Trailer

Book Trailer Blitz The Sailweaver’s Son

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Book Trailer

About the Book

front coverTitle: The Sailweaver’s Son

Author: Jeff Minerd

Genre: MG/YA Fantasy

The Sailweaver’s Son combines traditional fantasy with a dash of steampunk and takes young readers to a unique world—Etherium. A world where mountains rise like islands above a sea of clouds and adventurers travel the sky in sail-driven airships.

When fifteen year-old Tak rescues the survivor of an airship destroyed by one of the giant flammable gas bubbles mysteriously appearing in the sky of Etherium, the authorities react like a flock of startled grekks.

Admiral Scud accuses Tak of sabotage and treason. Tak’s father grounds him for reckless airmanship. Rumors spread that the bubbles are weapons devised by the Gublins, a race of loathsome but ingenious underground creatures. The King’s advisors call for war, hoping to win much-needed Gublin coal.

To clear his name, solve the mystery, and prevent a misguided war, Tak must do what anyone knows is suicide—visit the Gublins and find out what they’re up to. When the wizard’s adopted daughter, an oddly beautiful and irksomely intelligent girl from the Eastern kingdoms, asks Tak to help her do just that, he can’t say no.

The adventure will take Tak from the deepest underground caves to a desperate battle on Etherium’s highest mountaintop. It will force him to face his worst fears, and to grow up faster than he expected.

Author Bio

Jeff 2Jeff Minerd thought he stopped writing fiction a long time ago until the story for The Sailweaver’s Son came to him not in a dream but after a dream. He is grateful for that, and for the opportunity to explore the world of Etherium and entertain others with what he finds there.

Jeff has a son, Noah, who is also a writer and avid reader. Jeff hopes to one day place in the top ten—or maybe even top five—of Noah’s favorite authors. But the competition is pretty stiff.

In a previous lifetime, Jeff published short fiction in literary journals including The North American Review. One of his stories won the F. Scott Fitzgerald competition, judged by former NPR book reviewer Alan Cheuse.

More recently, Jeff has worked as a science and medical writer for publications and organizations including the National Institutes of Health, MedPage Today, The Futurist magazine, and the Scientist magazine.

Jeff lives in Rochester, NY.

Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

Buy on Amazon
Buy on B&N

Book Review: The Invitation by Diane Hoh

13490987Title: The Invitation
Author: Diane Hoh
Genre: MG, Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication Date: March 27th 2012
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for honest review.

For the high schoolers of Greenhaven, Cass Rockham’s fall party is the social event of the year. Each October, students wait by theirmailboxes, praying for the gilt-edged invitation that grants entry into theinner circle of the most popular crowd. And now Cass has planned her finestparty yet, with a new sauna, a hot band, and no parents for miles. But to make this party really killer, Cass tops it all off with a sinister twist.
Nerdy Sarah Drew is shocked when she and her friends receive invitations to Cass’s affair. For years she’s steered clear of the popular kids, and now they want her to come to their party? Sarah is wary, but her friends talk her into coming with them. But she regrets it quickly, for at Cass Rockham’s mansion, the only party favor is death.

Sarah and her friends have been invited to the party of the year, Cass Rockham’s fall party. The only thing strange about that is that Sarah and her friends aren’t exactly popular – some consider them the greatest nerds of the entire school, and Cass doesn’t really like them either. But the girls are so happy they were invited that they don’t even consider the reasons why they were may not be as friendly as they thought at first. But as soon as they arrive at the party, they realize something’s wrong. They’re placed in seperate rooms, all by themselve. They’re used as the ‘missing objects’ in a scavanger hunt, and can only get out of their hiding spot when someone finds them. Unfortunately Cass’ party plans go terribly wrong when there’s an actual murderer in their midst.

I had trouble rating this book as YA or MG. The story is so simple and straightforward that it reads like MG, although it’s originally intended for YA audiences. If you read the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine, or the books by Christopher Pike when you were growing up, like I did, than this book will definitely bring forth some nostalgia, although it’s hardly as good as the books I just mentioned. As I said, the plot is pretty simple. Nerd girls go to a party and end up in the middle of a murder mystery. Someone is out to kill them. No hints whatsoever are given about who the killer is, but it didn’t come as a real surprise when it was revealed either, more like a Deus ex Machina though. The characters were pretty bland. Most of Sarah’s friends were two-dimensional.

What angered me is how all of them waited on their friends to burst them out, as opposed to actually doing something themselves. I understand some people may be like this, but definitely not everyone.

Also, this book is part of the Point Horror series, and while it’s advertised as horror, it certainly isn’t. The story was more like a murder mystery, and there are no real threats or people getting severely hurt anywhere. Overall, a nice read, but for a younger audience. I’d say kids crossing over from MG to YA.

Book Review: Lark’s End by Christina Leigh Pritchard

51hOqWMCQ5L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Lark’s End
Author: Christina Leigh Pritchard
Genre: YA/MG, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Lotus Books
Pubilcation Date: September 17th, 2012
Amazon | Website

From the author of the C I N Series, comes an epic fantasy world filled with nothing but constant action and adventure. A new world, new life forms, and another twisted and complex story from author Christina Leigh Pritchard!
SYNOPSIS:
Mary wants to kill them. But, someone stands in her way…
Tahmi has nightmares, of an old man in a sailor’s suit, dropping her off on her doorstep. When she tells her parents about him they look sick. Could her dream have some truth to it? Is that old man the reason they won’t allow her in the woods behind her house?
What are they hiding from her? Who is she?
TAHMI: She’s just an ordinary girl, right?
Lark’s End, the first of nine books in the epic fantasy series The Fall of Gadaie. For extras, (characters, illustrations, book trailers, maps) please visit the blog dedicated to the series: gadaie.com

Lark’s End is a delightful, pleasant read for upper middle grade readers and the ‘younger’ young adult readers. The story is highly imaginative, offers a varying and intriguing array of characters and creatures, has a creative and thoughtful setting and makes the reader tumble from one adventure into the other.

The main character, Tahmi, is an intelligent, creative girl. A strange man dropped her off with her adoptive parents, Donna and Charles one day, and ever since the two of them have been raising her as their daughter, even though she isn’t. Donna notices strange things about her adoptive daughter right from the get-go. Tahmia develops quicker than other kids her age. She could walk and talk faster than other kids.

But what Donna and Charles never expected was that Tahmi wasn’t even from their own world. Born in the kingdom of Gadaie, a kingdom where creatures like Loonies live, people have been magically changed into horses, there are talking cats, and an evil threatening the entire kingdom, Tahmi is more different than anyone ever imagined. As the princess of this strange world, she is welcomed home by a variety of people who know her, but of who she has no recollection.

When a pink cloud turns up and tries to take Tahmi and her best friend and neighbor Andy to the strange land, they try to run from it at first. As soon as they fall into the magical world, they’re met with obstacles and people who each have their own agendas. However, there are more connections between this foreign world and the “real” world, or Earth, than meets the eye. For instance, Donna’s long lost sister, Maya, is imprisoned in the Queen’s dungeons.

I loved the characters. Tahmi and Andy each have very distinct personalities. I liked their interactions, how they can tease each other one moment and be best friends the next. I also liked Donna and Charles. They may not be Tahmi’s real parents, but their love for her is boundless. Also, when Tahmi is first brought to Gadaie, she’s forced to face a series of people depending on her, and confused as she is, it’s near impossible for her to help them all. I liked how this affected her usually cool demeanor, it made her seem more normal, more human, more relatable.

What I thought was most impressive was the world building. The creatures mentioned in this book are so imaginative, so creative, and they’re well described, so I could picture them easily. Also, the supposed ‘big bad’, Mary of the Monsters, was not a one-sided villain, something I really liked. She is well-developed, and only evil when seen from a certain perspective. Whenever an author manages to creature a multi-dimensional villain, I call that great writing, and it’s definitely the case here.

The writing itself very much fits the age group the story is meant for. It’s not too descriptive, but whenever descriptions come up, they’re short and to the point. The dialogue is great, and at times even hilarious. I can’t give away much more about the story or characters, but I can say that I enjoyed it very much from start to end.

I recommend Lark’s End to all fantasy fans, upper middle graders and young adults alike. I can’t wait the rest of the books in this series!

Book Review: Athena’s Son by Jeryl Schoenbeck

13247385Title: Athena’s Son
Author: Jeryl Schoenbeck
Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Papyrus Publishing
Publication Date: December 3rd 2011
Goodreads | Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | B&N
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for honest review.

In 276 BC, Egyptians are terrified when a series of murders are linked to Anubis, god of the dead. The evidence is inexplicable. The victims’ bodies have no wounds and the killer’s tracks are enormous animal prints. Egyptians believe the jackal-headed god doesn’t want the new lighthouse build. The pharaoh needs someone special to solve the crimes, someone with the skills and intellect to track down a vengeful god.
Twelve-year-old Archimedes is that person. He is blessed by Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, with extensive knowledge of science, mechanics, and medicine. He has to tread carefully when he applies the cold logic of Greek science in a sultry, mystical world of Egyptian culture. But when an ancient scroll puts him on the path of the killer, it also brings another god back from the dead. Now Archimedes is going to need Athena’s war skills.

Athena’s Son is hard book to classify. Because of the main character’s age, I would put it in the Middle Grace category, but so much is going on, some of the things really complicated, that made me think perhaps it’s better suited for older children. Nevertheless, it can be read by Middle Graders and any ages up, and it makes for an intriguing read, with enjoyable, relatable characters and a bunch of mysteries piled on top of each other – a delight to try and solve those!

The novel starts out with a murder. Workers are building a light house, but an entity keeps on mysteriously killing the workmen. Animal trails are seen in the sand nearby. Some of the locals think it’s one of the Egyptian Gods – half human, half animal – who’s come back to take revenge on the Greek suppressors of Alexandria. Amidst these terrors, young Archimedes is brought to Alexandria by ship. In the city, he will study at the Library, where is accepted as one of the youngest pupils ever. However, Archimedes’ journey to the Library isn’t without danger: while solving a problem with the carts in front of the temple, he gets arrested by the temple’s high priest and brought to the Library.

In the Library, Archimedes meets Berenike, the daughter of the Pharaoh, who is working to solve the mystery that is Alexander The Great’s death. She’s discovered an ancient scroll in the library suggesting his death may not have been an illness after all. While Berenike is trying to solve a century-old murder mystery, Archimedes gets sucked into a contemporary one: upon the Pharaoh’s command, he has to try and solve the mystery of who is murdering the lighthouse workers, and to what end. Is it truly an Egyptian God descended to earth and extracting vengeance, or is the culprit a fellow human being?

The strength of Athena’s Son is how wonderfully the author combines mythology, adventure, mystery, ancient history and science. Archimedes is a boy of silence: he likes making new items, sort of like an engineer. He has a logical mind, which he uses to try and solve the murder mystery. The mystery is the common thread throughout the entire book, linking the events together. I had it figured out pretty quickly, but that didn’t take away the fun. So much happens in the book that it never seems to slow down, and Archimedes tumbles from one adventure into the other.

The only thing I had some trouble with was Archimedes himself. I had the feeilng I didn’t really get to know him. Besides the fact he’s smart, he likes solving puzzles, and he has an obvious liking for Benedike, I hardly knew anything about him personality-wise. The fast-paced plot and twists and turns made up for a lot of that, but at the end I was still left wondering: who is Archimedes? what does he like? what is he afraid of? Another thing I was slightly wary of, was Archimedes relationship with Benedike. It seemed very unlikely to ever happen in real life, and the way Benedike was so casual about it, didn’t work for me. I don’t think ancient Pharaophs would like their daughters falling for scholars, no matter how brilliant they are.

Apart from those minor pet peeves, this book was great. I had fun from start to end. The ancient city of Alexandria came to live on the pages of the book, the characters were unique and interesting, and of course, the plot was sublime. I read this in one reading, unable to put it down.

I highly recommend this book to fans of ancient Greek, history, and murder mysteries. Middle graders will love to read this book, especially if they’re interested in science or history.

Book Review: Nate Rocks The Boat by Karen Pokras Toz

NateRockstheBoat_promo_printTitle: Nate Rocks The Boat
Author: Karen Pokras Toz
Genre: Humor, Adventure, MG, Children’s Books
Publisher: Grand Daisy Press
Publication Date: April 20th 2012
Goodreads | Author Website | Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Tours.

The Adventure Continues…With fourth grade finally winding down, 10-year-old Nathan Rockledge is looking forward to a fun and relaxing summer at home with his friends. That is, until his mom decides he has to go to overnight camp with his annoying older sister. When his best friend, Tommy, decides to tag along, Nathan thinks maybe his summer won’t actually be so bad. After all, he does get to be away from his mom’s awful cooking for an entire six weeks. Amongst Color War competitions, a flaky counselor, and a bully named “No-Neck,” Nathan turns to his trusty sketchpad, transforming himself into Nate Rocks: 10-year-old extraordinaire. His speedboat ready for action, Nate saves the day time and again from the perils of floods, snakes, ghosts, and even the most wanted criminals. Join Nathan, Tommy, Abby, and a whole new cast of characters as Nate Rocks once again proves nothing can hold him back.

Nate Rocks The Boat is another book in the MG Series “Nate Rocks”. I reviewed the other book in the series, Nate Rocks The World yesterday and very much enjoyed reading and reviewing it. In this new adventure, Nate is back for some fun, hilarious situations in a new setting – namely, summer camp.

Nate is your regular, average ten-year-old except than whenever he starts daydreaming, or gets stuck in some peculiar situations, he begins draw comic books in which he doubles as Nate Rocks, a brave and intelligent superhero. Nate’s ideal summer holiday meant hanging out with his best friend Tommy and doing absolutely nothing, chilling out and relaxing all summer long. Unfortunately, his Mom has other plans. She’s convinced Nate should go with his sister Abby to overnight camp. Although that’s the last thing Nate wants, when his buddy Tommy shows up as well, he realizes overnight camp may not be as terrible as he first envisioned. Plus, at least summer camp means he won’t have to eat his Mom’s terrible food for six weeks.

Summer camp has never been this exciting before. Imaginative and creative Nate ends up from one hilarious, sometimes even dangerous situation into another. Canoeing, scavenger hunts and kickball turns from ordinary sports into true adventures as Nate Rocks saves the camp from a flood, he saves another kid from being bitten by a rattler, and a lot more! Even camp bullies aren’t safe from Nate Rocks. Like the title of the book suggests, the water often proves to be the source of the danger Nate has to overcome, and every time he does, he does so in typical Nate Rocks fashion.

This is a must-read book for all kids, especially boys, of around age ten. The Nate Rocks series shows how young reagers can use the imagination of their brain while still knowing it’s imagination – not real. The adventures happening to Nate are close to home for a lot of kids, and they’ll easily recognize themselves in the characters. I very much enjoyed reading this book, and am keeping my fingers crossed author Karen Pokras Toz decides to write more books in the Nate Rocks series.

Book Review: Nate Rocks The World by Karen Pokras Toz and Giveaway

Nate Cover Final_X.inddTitle: Nate Rocks The World
Author: Karen Pokras Toz
Genre: MG, Humor, Adventure, Children’s Books
Publisher: Self-Published, Createspace
Publication Date: 2011
Goodreads | Author Website | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Tours.

Nate Rocks can do it all: part super-hero, part all-star athlete, part rock-star… part fourth-grader?
Ten-year-old Nathan Rockledge cannot catch a break. After all, life as a fourth-grader can be hazardous what with science projects to deal with and recess football games to avoid. Everyone, including his best friend Tommy, seems to have bad luck when hanging around Nathan. Throw in an older sister who is a royal pain, a dad who is stuck in the past, and a mom who keeps trying to poison him with her awful cooking, and poor Nathan’s life as a fourth grader appears to be completely doomed.
Armed only with his sketchpad, his imagination, and his wits, Nathan Rockledge navigates the perils of the fourth grade in style, to emerge heroic, as Nate Rocks, proving that even a ten-year-old can accomplish great things.

Nate Rocks The World is one of two stand-alone MG novels written by author Karen Pokras Toz. The other novel, Nate Rocks The Boat, features the same main character, but each can be read seperately, although connected.

When I first began reading Nate Rocks The World, I didn’t know what to expect. This is the first ever self-published MG novel I’ve ever read. It certainly didn’t dissapoint – instead it was a new and rewaring experience. What I loved the most about this book, is Nate’s creativity. He can’t stay focused. Give him a pencil, a marker, or whatever you want, and he starts drawing comics in which he acts as the hero and solves mysteries. Unfortunately for Nate, real life isn’t a comic book. While he would like nothing more than to go see the latest captain Asteroid movie with his best friends, he’s forced to stay at home to work on a project for school with a girl he can stand, who tells her Mom everything, and whose Mom tells all of that to Nate’s Mom, because they happen to best friends. Nate is often teased by his older sister Abby, he daydreams in school and gets caught doing so, and although his parents mean well, they always tend to embarass him. Basically, he’s suffering from the same things every fourth grader suffers from, with this exception – if it all gets too much, he starts drawing comics and escapes to his fantasy world.

I really enjoyed Nate’s adventures, and his enormous amount of humor and creativity. I can only imagine how much ten-year-olds will enjoy this as well. The book is written more for boys than for girls, but I think a girl would be able to relate to Nate as well. He’s a nice kid, and the events happening to him are easily relatable. For instance, when it’s Halloween, his Mom doesn’t see why she should purchase a halloween outfit for him. Instead she sets off to make one herself. The consequences are disastrous, because as it turns out, Mom can’t even make a proper cape! When Nate’s sister Abby manages to embarrass him even more on Halloween, Nate and his buddies decide it’s payback time. And Abby’s birthday sounds like the best place and location to get even.

The humor in this book is amazing, the characters are believable and relatable for parents and childrens alike, and the events are close to home, but Nate’s way to deal with them is original, fun and very enjoyable. A must-read for all MG book fans. I’m looking forward to getting started on the next book in this series. Nate Rocks The World deserves a spot in your book closet right now.

Giveaway

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