April 25, 2018

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway



THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTNING GIRL 
Author: Stacy McAnulty 
Release Date: May 1, 2018 
Publisher: Random House 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook 
Pages: 304 

Find it:Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads 

Description:

Middle school is the one problem Lucy Callahan can't solve in this middle-grade novel perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by 7s. 

Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school! 

Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation? 

A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty's smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different. 

"An engaging story, full of heart and hope. Readers of all ages will root for Lucy, aka Lightning Girl. No miscalculations here!" --Kate Beasley, author of Gertie's Leap to Greatness


“4!” I shout. “I have 4 friends.”

“Who?” Nana asks.

“SquareHead314, HipHypotenuse, Numberlicious, and GregS77.”

“What?” Nana laughs, but I’m not joking. “Are those people?”

“Yes, they’re online friends. I know them from the math forums and the tutoring websites.”

“Do you know anything about them?” Uncle Paul asks, shaking his head. My family is ganging up on me.

“I know SquareHead314 is a whiz with differential equations. He . . . or she . . . can explain things in the simplest terms.”

“He or she?” Uncle Paul asks.

“Don’t be sexist. Girls are as good at math as boys are. I can’t assume SquareHead314 is a boy.” Now it’s my turn to shake my head.

“SquareHead is not your friend if you don’t even know his . . . her . . . gender.” Uncle Paul runs his hands over his microshort (maybe 1/8 inch) hair.

“What do you want me to do? Nana told me to be careful on the Internet. I try not to ask personal questions.”

“Lucy, you don’t know these people. You’ve never met them. They’re not your friends,” Nana says.

“Do you want me to invite them over?”

“No!” Nana snaps. “These people could be murderers. Especially Greg77. He obviously has no imagination.”

“It’s Greg-S-77. And he’s an expert in string theory.”

“What is that?” She holds up a hand. “Never mind.”

“Ma, how did you let this happen?” Uncle Paul asks. “Lucy needs to be around other kids. You can’t keep her locked away.”

“That’s right. I have her locked in a tower and never let her out. She’ll have to grow her hair and escape through the window if she ever wants to leave. Please, Paul.”

This would be a good time for me to say, Don’t blame Nana. Sure, she is the 1 who pulled me out of elementary school after 2nd grade. But I’ve never wanted to go back. Nana tried. She forced me to go to the homeschool gym class at the Y last year. I hated it. The other kids hated it, too. I only like to bounce a basketball 3 times. Or jump rope 3 times. Or run around the track 3 times. Actually, I hate running around the track any number of times. People don’t get me, and I don’t really need the distractions.

Instead, I say, “Nana hasn’t been to her doctor in over 2 years. 741 days exactly.”

“What!” Paul says.

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Ma, you have to take care of yourself.”

Nana and Uncle Paul go back and forth. I quietly excuse myself and carry Uncle Paul’s duffel bag to my bedroom. I’m letting him sleep there for the weekend.

I log on to my computer.

LightningGirl: Hey, friends. I’m back.

SquareHead314: Great. We’re talking fractal geometry.

Maybe SquareHead and the others aren’t friend friends. But we’ve got a shared love of math. Maybe that’s enough.

Life is like an equation, and mine is perfectly balanced.

Nana + Uncle Paul + Math = Happiness

Other people might need to add in friends or sports or money or something else, but my equation is already solved.
Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer, who’s also qualified to be a paleontologist (NOT REALLY), a correspondent for The Daily Show (why not), and a Green Bay Packer coach (totally!). She is the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Recipient for Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Her other picture books include Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, illustrated by David Litchfield; Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert, illustrated by Deborah Hocking, Braveand Beautiful, both illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, illustrated by Edward Hemingway; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. She’s also authored the chapter book series Goldie Blox, based on the award-winning toys, and The Dino Files. Her debut middle grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, will publish in May 2018. When not writing, Stacy likes to listen to NPR, bake triple-chocolate cupcakes, and eat triple-chocolate cupcakes. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 3 dogs, and 1 husband. 

(3) winners will receive a finished copy of THE MISCALCULATIONS OF LIGHTNING GIRL - US Only!





Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
4/23/2018- Beagles and Books- Interview 
4/24/2018- Mrs. Knott's Book Nook- Review 
4/25/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 
4/26/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
4/27/2018- She Dreams in Fiction- Excerpt 

Week Two: 
4/30/2018- 100 Pages A Day-Review 
5/1/2018- Wonder Struck- Review 
5/2/2018- Nerdophiles- Review 
5/3/2018- The Underground- Guest Post 
5/4/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction- Review 







 

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Hatchet Hollow by Amanda McKinney


 

Hatchet Hollow (Black Rose Mystery Series #2)
Author: Amanda McKinney
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Publication Date: April 24, 2018


Description:

After an afternoon of mind-numbingly boring surveillance in the woods, Private Investigator Raven Cane goes for a twilight jog to clear her head, only to discover a gruesome murder in the town’s most notorious cave, Hatchet Hollow. Minutes later, the impossibly handsome Lieutenant Zander Stone arrives at the scene to take over, but Raven has a hard time letting the case go. Why did the killer cut off the victim’s fingers? More importantly, who would do such a thing?

After a failed attempt at tracking down the elusive Marden Balik, aka, the legendary witch of the Great Shadow Mountains, Zander dives headfirst into Devil’s Den’s most recent murder, only to uncover twists and turns at every step—including a secret book of curses that may, or may not, exist. As the list of suspects grows, Zander does his best to keep Raven at arm’s length. But Raven is persistent, nosing her way into his case, making it increasingly difficult to keep his concentration on the task at hand, and off of her sultry body.

And when another woman is found brutally murdered, Zander worries that Raven has gotten too close to the investigation… close enough to put her directly in the killer’s sights.


A BLACK CROW swooped down from a decaying pine tree beside her, it’s cringing caw piercing the silence of the woods. She shuddered and zipped up her windbreaker.

Abby never liked crows, or birds for that matter. Not since her parents brought her back a rare, extremely expensive—their words, not hers—parrot from Honduras when she was twelve years old. It was one of the many vacations they’d taken without her—needing a break, they’d say—and leaving her with her nanny, Fran, whose hair always looked, ironically, like a bird’s nest, and whose breath could stop a clock. The same nanny who’d tattled on her for leaving a window open, allowing the precious parrot to fly away.

Her father didn’t speak to her for a week, and her mother, only when he wasn’t looking.

But that was a long time ago. That was then, and this was now. She was a woman now, freshly turned twenty-one with her whole life ahead of her. She didn’t need her parents or the shallow gifts they’d showered her with, replacing their inability to show affection. She didn’t need them anymore, just like they didn’t need her. That’s how they always made her feel, anyway.

A cool gust of wind carrying the sour scent of moldy earth swept past her. She glanced up at the cloud-covered sky. Another dreary day. Another stupid, dull day in this small, suffocating, godforsaken town—just like the day before.

But not anymore.

She could make her own decisions now, out from under their financial thumb. Go her own way in life.

And she was.

And her parents would kill her for it.

She stepped onto the jogging trail that snaked through the woods and stumbled on a rock. She looked down at her new black running shoes laced tightly over black ankle socks. Black leggings and a black T-shirt.

Black.

She swallowed the lump in her throat.

She’d always been fascinated with the mystical, creepy folktales that were whispered through the Great Shadow Mountains. Spirits, ghosts… witches. Hundreds of stories told during dark nights with no electricity, bonfires with too many drinks, Halloween, or just about any scenario shrouded in darkness. The stories were told with glances over the shoulder and hushed voices laced with fear, and if you listened carefully enough, respect. Respect for the evil forces that could snatch you up in the middle of the night, turn you into a lizard, or worse, curse you and everyone you loved.

Witches who could raise the dead from the earth.

Witches who could take your life.

Respect, power. Those were the two things she was promised when she’d been approached about “turning over a new leaf”. Taking control of her own life—and others if needed. Yes, she would be a part of something now, of something big, she was told.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes.

Was she apprehensive? Absolutely. But what they’d promised her had been too great to ignore. She’d been a fool to walk away.

Right?

She smoothed her black windbreaker.

Black really wasn’t her color, but they had been wearing it—head-to-toe—so she figured she’d better get used to it. There would be so much to learn, they’d explained, and embracing black was a good start, she guessed.

But dammit, it really washed her out. Her pale complexion and light blonde hair—a gift from her mother—looked even more lifeless against the unforgiving color.

Maybe she would take baby steps into the change.

Yes, baby steps.

Maybe it would be okay if she wore her red silk blouse and white Louboutin six-inch heels on her date next week.

Butterflies tickled her stomach.

A date!

She couldn’t believe it. Yes, she had been asked out by a good-looking, accomplished man, nonetheless. It was completely out of left field… and only hours after she’d officially committed to “turning over a new leaf.” Coincidence?

Yes, things were going to change for her. Things were going to go her way, for the first freaking time in her life.

She was going to be powerful, respected. Feared.

With an extra pep in her step, she rounded a corner in the trail and spotted her new jogging partner anxiously waiting ahead.

“Hey.”

“Hey, there. You ready?”

She snorted. “As ready as I can be, I guess.”

“First mile’s always the hardest. I’ll take it easy on you. Might want to stick those keys in your pocket, though. Uneven terrain.”

“Oh, okay. Yeah.” She nodded, looked down, and as she unzipped her pocket—

WHACK!

Her head snapped back as a fist slammed into her jaw.

Pain rocketed through her skull. Bright lights flashed in her eyes. The metallic taste of blood filled her mouth as she stumbled backward. The world spun around her, sending a wave of nausea through her body as she tried to process what was happening.

What the hell?

She opened her eyes to fuzziness and tried to focus on the movement in front of her. But before she could come to, the next brutal force knocked her out cold.

Award-winning author of sexy murder mysteries, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Her books include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning whodunits peppered with steamy romance. Amanda is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs. Visit her website at www.amandamckinneyauthor.com




 
XBTBanner1







April 24, 2018

Hooper Blog Tour: Tens List + Giveaway

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/03/hooper-by-geoff-herbach.html


Hooper
Author: Geoff Herbach
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Description:

From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.

But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.


Praise for HOOPER:

“Lessons on small-town politics and what it means to be a good friend abound in this well-plotted work.” ―Booklist

“Herbach’s ability to expand the narrative from solid game play to confronting racial injustice is remarkable. No one here is perfect, and their failures make readers cringe yet root for success. Hoops and so much more.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“There’s much to love in this sports tale. Fast-paced play-by-plays vividly depict the speed and beauty of the game. Adam’s backstory is heartrending and with immigrant mistrust and nonviolent protests in the national spotlight, this is a timely and realistic teen drama and swish—nothin’ but net.” ―School Library Journal

“This sports/school/domestic drama checks all the boxes. What could be another boilerplate basketball novel benefits from a tight cast of well developed secondary characters who surpass their expected stereotypes.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Fresh, funny, thoughtful, subversive, and totally absorbing. Book of the year!” ―Robert Lipsyte, Margaret A. Edwards award-winning author of The Contender

“Funny, gut-wrenching, and spilling over with heart, Hooper is an uplifting breath of joy, and gives us all cause to be hopeful. I loved it!” ―Andrew Smith, Michael L. Printz Honor and New York Times Bestselling author of Winger and Grasshopper Jungle

“Hooper is a slam dunk! A sports novel with incredible action and tons of heart. I challenge you not to fall in love with these terrific, flawed characters, and just try to put this one down once you start. Impossible.” ―Bill Konigsberg, Award-Winning Author of Honestly Ben

“Raw, funny, and deeply honest, Geoff Herbach gifts us a story about the messiness of life and the importance of talking about it—ultimately showing us how to not only trudge through it, but to soar.” ―Gae Polisner, author of In Sight of Stars and The Memory of Things

“Author Geoff Herbach has a remarkable ability to create characters who make us laugh and think, sometimes within the same sentence. Read Hooper and let your self be changed.” ―John Coy, author of Gap Life 



You can purchase HOOPER at the following Retailers:
        

 Top 10 Best Writing Advice You've Been Given

1. Have fun while you’re doing it.

2. Don’t get up and go to the refrigerator!

3. Read, read, read, and you’ll learn.

4. Three hundred jokes strung together does not a novel make.

5. Love your characters. Treat them like your family.

6. Don’t think about publishing before you’re done writing the book. REALLY DONE, not just have a draft.

7. Eating donuts makes you sleepy, so stop it.

8. Go slow on the page during high drama.

9. Don’t be afraid to throw it all out.

10. Love this thing you do. Honor it. Don’t stop no matter what.
 
Geoff Herbach is the author of the award winning Stupid Fast YA series as well as Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders. His books have been given the 2011 Cybils Award for best YA novel, the Minnesota Book Award, selected for the Junior Library Guild, listed among the year’s best by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and many state library associations. In the past, he wrote the literary novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, produced radio comedy shows and toured rock clubs telling weird stories. Geoff teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. He lives in a log cabin with a tall wife.

    
(1) Winner will receive a Signed Copy of HOOPER by Geoff Herbach.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Dylan Dilemma by Patricia B. Tighe


 

The Dylan Dilemma
Author: Patricia B. Tighe
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Swoon Romance

Description:

High school senior Kenzie Harper-Shea has no time for dating, especially after the arrival of the basketball coach from hell. Now Kenzie has lost her confidence, is in a slump, and in danger of losing out on a scholarship to play college ball. The last thing she needs is her “vacation boyfriend,” Dylan McCoy, distracting her with warm smiles, inside jokes, and swoony kisses.

Dylan, however, is totally ready to date. He finally lives in the same town as Kenzie and is not about to lose the chance to let their relationship grow into something more. But for now, he’ll stay in the friend zone because he’s determined to find out what has her running scared. It can’t be just about basketball.

As Kenzie spends more time around Dylan, her feelings become a jumbled-up mess. It’s obvious they’re into each other. So, why does she panic whenever she thinks about dating him? Is it connected to basketball or to something deeper? She’s not sure. Does she have the courage to examine her heart, even if it means breaking Dylan’s?


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Dylan

Satisfaction settled over me. “That’s not true.” Oh, Kenzie was jealous all right. Now to get her to admit it.

“I don’t believe this. You’re usually so good at reading people and you’ve totally messed up where she’s concerned. That girl likes you. As more than just a friend.”

I shook my head. “We’ve always joked around. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“She kept touching you.”

I gave her my best “you’re being ridiculous” face. “Kenzie—”

“No.” She strode over to me. “She slid her hand down your arm like this.” Kenzie trailed her fingers along my forearm.

I forced myself to ignore the tickling sensation. “So?”

“She played with your hair.”

“What? She did not.”

“She reached up and stuck her hand in your hair.” Kenzie lifted a hand but paused, leaving it waiting in the air.

“You mean when she was pulling that leaf out of my hair?”

“Oh, good grief, Dylan. You did not have a leaf in your hair! She just wanted to touch you. Why can’t you admit it?”

I turned away like I was tired of the conversation. “You’re overreacting.”

She grabbed my shoulder, twisting me back around. “I know what I saw.”

We stood really close now, her hazel eyes glaring. They were tinged with blue, almost a light aquamarine color, and their intensity made me freeze in place. I wanted to pull her against me, to feel her arms tighten around me, but something was about to happen. Good or bad. I knew it. So I waited, not sure if it was right or not, breathing in the clean soapy scent of her T-shirt and wondering why she didn’t stink of sweat after tennis.

Kenzie slid her hand down my forearm. “Lissa did this,” she whispered. She ran the other hand into my hair, holding my head. “And this. And she wanted to kiss you, but I don’t know if she did or not.” Her lips were seriously close. “Did she?”

I swallowed. “No,” I said through a breath.
The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and dog. She eats way too much pizza, drinks way too much coffee, and watches way too much NFL football. On the bright side, she also reads and writes teen fiction. She promises to include as much romance, angst, and adventure as possible in her books.

XBTBanner1