Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mom and Dad's Day with a Review: Esteemed Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty


Today, it's Mom and Dad's day here on Bookworm for Kids, which means that I've pulled out a book, which is not really intended for the younger readers, but for the parents instead. Yep, even parents need their reads. This one, however, is appropriate for the YA audience. (there are some bloody-ish scenes but portrayed in a light way and definitely nothing more than many YA books hold).



ESTEEMED VAMPIRE CAT
Colt Harper, Book One
by Tyrolin Puxty
Curiosity Quills Press
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
170 pages




Colt Harper hates it when you pat a cat the wrong way, or when you upload their faux pas to YouTube. In fact, he'll probably kill you for it. 

As a self-proclaimed master vampire cat, Colt never imagined he'd be sent to community service at a revolting community theater. And for what? Killing humans who don't buy the expensive brand of cat food? Talk about unfair. 

Still, working with a nervous werewolf and a monster addicted to tickling wasn't on his to-do list.

What's worse, is he's falling for a human. Sure, she has green eyes. Sure, she fosters stray cats. But she's still a disgusting human. 

So why is he risking his own life to save her from the chasers?



MY TIDBITS


Over the top characters, a ridiculous plot and, at the center of it all, an arrogant cat with tons of wit and brains—a fantastically, hilarious read!

Colt Harper is one of a kind, mostly because his kind is nearly extinct. As the last surviving vampire cat, it's Colt's inborn duty to kill all humans which have ever offended, hurt or hated a cat. Unfortunately, killing humans is no longer allowed—a habit Colt really can't break—placing him in community service. Again. That this community service turns out to involve a whole lot more, and he's soon running to save his and his new found friends' (in the broadest sense of the term) lives.

Tyrolin Puxty has a treasure chest of an imagination and lets it flow freely. The characters are all gems, each harboring very distinct attitudes and quirks, and each as funny as can be. Colt Harper is as complex as a ancient cat should be, and doesn't even understand himself at times. But he's clever, he's witty, and he manages to force himself to handle anything thrown his way—even disgusting humans. His attempt to maintain a high level of esteem always runs up against road blocks, and it's a sheer delight to watch out he manages to slink his way around through them and even come out on top. Usually.

The monsters go past the well-versed range and hit upon less known ones, which kill people through tickling or force them into nightmare states. There's even the chance that a monster be turned into a pair of red running legs—something to be avoided at all costs. It's not a calm tale, but bloody and filled with death. There's action, skin-of-the-teeth escapes and exciting fight scenes. Don't forget the mystery and plenty of very unexpected twists and turns, and it all gets thrown together with a huge amount of spicy wit and fun. In other words, it's not the usual paranormal read and takes serious with an edge of quirky oddness. And that's exactly what makes it such an amazing read.

Summed up, this is for all those paranormal (especially vampire cat) fans who are ready to plunge into something completely different and new.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: Goodnight, Little Bot by Karen Kaufman Orloff



GOODNIGHT, LITTLE BOT
By Karen Kaufman Orloff
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book 
ages 4 and up
32 pages


“Little Bot, it’s time for bed. Let’s get ready, sleepyhead.” 

A sweet goodnight story with a unique hero.
Even little robots need their rest—and their parents tuck them in just like human mommies and daddies do. It doesn’t matter if young bots slip on their pjs over power packs and enjoy batteries for their pre-sleep snack; just like children, they love bedtime stories, hugs, a cuddly toy, and lullabies. This charming picture book is perfect for winding kids (and robots) down for the night.



MY TIDBITS 

A sweet story, which leads not-quite-so-ready-for-bed kids and similar young robots to sleep.

Little Bot doesn't want to hear anything about going to bed. He's not ready, but Mom insists. After completing the regular evening rituals, he's finally tucked away under the covers and might finally drift off to sleep.

This is a book to help all those kids, who may not be ready for bedtime, to ease their way to that bed. Little Bot is a cute, little robot, yet very similar to little kids his age. He loves TV and games, and isn't excited about stopping the day to head to something as boring as bed. His mother guides him through a pretty normal evening routine: bath, snack, short read, etc. Of course, as a robot, things are a little different, and that's what brings on the fun. Young readers, especially robot fans, will love pretending that they too are robots getting ready for bed. The only thing needs to be mentioned here is the battery snack—something parents might want to explain before kids try to imitate that one on their own.

The illustrations are bright and oh-so roboty! Little Robot's energy shines from every page. The illustrations are simple yet hold just the right details to draw readers in and give them a chance to spot a few wonders on their own. The circuitry-star constellations on the book ends add an extra treat.

While the book starts out with fun and energy, calmness and warmth take over by the end to draw young readers to sleep. Little robot fans are sure to enjoy this one and probably want to brush their own circuits for a few nights too before heading off into dreamland.


And here they are. . .

The author. . .

Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of several books for children, including the bestselling I Wanna series, illustrated by David Catrow (Putnam). For Sterling, she has written Talk, Oscar, Please!, illustrated by Tim Bowers; If Mom Had Three Arms, illustrated by Pete Whitehead; and Miles of Smiles, illustrated by Luciano Lozano. She has another book scheduled for Sterling's Spring 2018 list: Some Days. Karen lives in Dutchess County, NY and is available for interview. Visit her at karenkaufmanorloff.com.

The Illustrator. . .

Kim Smith has illustrated several books for children including Sterling's Hey, Coach!; Over the River & Through the Wood; and The Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada. Kim lives in Canada and is available for interview. Visit her at Kimillustration.com.

Monsters Among Us by Amanda Strong



A STUNNING CONCLUSION...

The stunning conclusion of the MONSTERS AMONG US Series by Amanda Strong is now available in paperback! Order your copy today and find out for yourself why readers are calling this series: "Awesome and Exhilarating!"

MONSTERS AMONG US

Order your paperback on: AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BOOK DEPOSITORY
What if the fate of the world lies with the monster – not the hero?


The world is shifting, and Sammy has complete control. But as hidden truths surface, she starts to doubt everyone who is close to her. The Ancients and Kory have been harboring dark secrets, and it could mean war between the Dragon Fae and the Irukas. With the Defenders as her devoted soldiers, Sam must make some difficult decisions. Should she save the world… or save herself?
Blake won't give up on Sam. He knows he can't trust Tonbo anymore, or the web of lies he's been thrown into. If he hopes to save Sam, he must find the real reason Kory created the bug army. Turns out there could be something far worse than bloodthirsty bugs buriedon the islands, and Blake will have to fight his own inner demons if he wants to save those he loves―including Sam.
In a world filled with mistrust and lies, Blake and Sam must unearth the truth and face their own fears and weaknesses. If they don't, their lives―and the fate of all humanity―will hang in the balance.


And here she is. . .



Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed. Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us. The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016. Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us. When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.

See more at: www.authoramandastrong.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Book Birthday, The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr with Giveaway





The Cutting Room Floor 

by Dawn Klehr
October 13th 2017!
YA Mystery, Thriller









Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.







And here she is. . . 
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.
She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories –in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog. 


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Sneak Peek: Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia with Giveaway




Dragonfriend
Dragonfriend Series Book 1
by Marc Secchia
YA Epic Fantasy

Gold Award winner - 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards




Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die.

Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price.

This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend.



Series Note
Dragonfriend is a YA fantasy novel set in the same world of the bestselling dragon adventure series Shapeshifter Dragons and Shapeshifter Dragon Legends. It can be read in any order alongside AranyaShadow Dragon and The Pygmy Dragon. Awesome dragons, epic stories and deep dragon lore abound in this unique series set in a world of volcanic islands above the clouds.




SNEAK PEEK

When the Orange Dragon fixed his burning eye upon her, however, the Human girl realised her mistake. This was no friendly visitor. A scar twisted the left side of his muzzle into a permanent half-sneer. The power of the Dragon’s sallow gaze reminded her of none other than Ra’aba, the way his brow-ridge drew down and his lip peeled open, revealing a jaw stuffed with gleaming fangs, any one of which could have skewered Lia and served her up as a kebab without a second thought.
Did recognition writhe in her belly? Was this the spirit of Ra’aba, reincarnated in Dragon form?
“Ah, so the dragonets spoke truly,” rumbled the Dragon, swinging his muzzle toward her, flame licking around his huge, flaring nostrils. His voice was as dry as air simmering over the caldera, crackling with fires as though he concealed a bonfire in his throat. “Here’s how it works, Princess. Run. Scream, if you’d like. I’ll give you a count of three.”
Hualiama made a wordless squeak of dread.
“Run.” The Dragon made a shooing motion with his forepaw. “Go on. It’s more amusing for me.”
Terror exploded from her belly in slow motion, burning the pathways of her body. The sense of his evil was so palpable, she knew the Dragon saw her as nothing more than a loathsome insect to be crushed beneath his heel. It was possible to die from fright. She was the prey. The Orange Dragon was the predator, and nothing in the Island-World could protect her from such a creature. Doom stalked her upon wings the colour of molten lava.
“One.”
She jerked back.
“Two …”
Hualiama’s feet seemed possessed of wings of their own. She had never fled so fast, but the monster out there provided more than enough motivation. An agile left-right dance-step took her into their chamber. She sprinted flat out. Air hissed past her ears. The Orange Dragon’s monstrous challenge, the full-throated roar of an adult male on the hunt, shook the cavern.
“Three!”

The Orange Dragon pounced, his paws crashing down near the cave entrance, the shock conducted through sand and rock to her fleeing feet. The air sucked away from her lungs; Lia heard a rising thunder of fire, a crackling and sizzling sound as a wave of heat rolled over her back, as superheated as any volcanic eruption. Fire-reflections dazzled from the crystals embedded in the cavern walls. Lia dived headlong into the cool pool. The world flared orange. Rolling over underwater, she gazed up through the ripples at a torrent of Dragon fire, roiling and billowing above the pool with fatal brilliance, as though she stared into the heart of the twin suns




Marc is a South African-born dragon masquerading as an author, who loves writing about dragons and Africa, preferably both at the same time. He's the author of 23 fantasy books in 3 languages (2 more languages coming this year - watch this space!), including 8 rip-roaring dragon fantasy bestsellers. Dragonfriend won a Gold Award for Fantasy in the 2016 IPPY Book Awards. 


When he's not writing about Africa or dragons Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there's nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.







Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!







Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: The Boy Who Painted The World by Melody J. Bremen



THE BOY WHO PAINTED THE WORLD
by Melody J. Bremen
Middle Grade Fiction
254 pages







Indigo is a boy with a dream. He spends his mornings in a refrigerator box, his afternoons shoveling snow, and his nights in the basement of a homeless shelter. But during every free moment, he draws and dreams of becoming a famous artist. His best friend Jade looks after him, but she is arrested for shoplifting and he’s left all alone. With his box of pencils under his arm, he sets out on a quest to search for Jade and discovers a whole new world… full of the art he loves.
His journey brings him friendship, family, and the courage to hold onto his dreams.




MY TIDBITS

This is one of those stories which touches the heart, tears at it, makes it warm and leaves with a sense of dreams and inspiration.

Indigo's mother left him standing on a street when he was five. Luckily, he met a girl named Jade, who took him in and taught him love. But when she's caught by police for stealing, Indigo's left to tackle the world alone. Armed with colored pencils, whatever paper he can find on the streets and a dream he refuses to let go of, he discovers the world in all of it's harshness and warmth.

The opening pages already demand a wave of sympathy as Indigo, a unsuspecting boy, is left standing on a street, told by his mother to wait until she returns. Which she doesn't. Indigo has it rough. Every day is a battle for food and shelter, but he doesn't ever let this get him down. He accepts it as a simple fact of life and keeps his eyes focused on one thing—his art. His desire to earn his food through whatever work he can find, his ability to never grow bitter and his undying spirit make him a true hero any reader will want to embrace and never let go of.

The author does an amazing job of describing Indigo's world and all of it's hardships. It pulls at the heart-strings, but at the same time, never bogs down completely. The situation is understandable, when seen from Indigo's stand-point, and there exceptional role models appear at various times through-out the story. There's harshness and hope. At the same time, it's told in a very believable way. Not only is Indigo's world realistic, but Indigo himself is a child, speaks like a child, and dreams like a child. There are moments of humor lightly sprinkled in and a sense of pureness which can only be seen through a child's eyes. Young readers will easily connect to Indigo, feel for him, understand him and enjoy following him. And, at the end, they'll be left with something to think about.

Summed up, this is one of the best middle grade stories I've read this year, and I can only hope that many young readers get a chance to meet Indigo and experience his journey.



And here she is. . .
MELODY J. BREMEN!!!



Melody J. Bremen writes books for middle grade and young adult readers. She lives on a distant planet where all they do is write and read books. (Sometimes they eat jelly beans.) She has a faithful computer named Oswald.

You can find her. . .


Goodreads profile 


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review: Sorcery For Beginners by Matt Harry



SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS
A Simple Guide to a Challenging & Arcane Art
by Matt Harry
Illustrated by Julian Crump
Inkshares
Middle Grade Fantasy
300 pages
ages 9 and up


Five-hundred years ago, magic began to fade from the world. Combustion engines and computers took the place of enchanted plows and spell books. Sorcerers were hunted almost to extinction. Science became the primary system of belief, and the secrets of spell-casting were forgotten ... until now.
Written by arcane arts preservationist and elite mage Euphemia Whitmore (along with her ordinary civilian aide Matt Harry), Sorcery for Beginners is the true how-to manual for returning magic to an uninspired world. It's also the story of Owen Macready, a seemingly average 13-year-old who finds himself drawn into a centuries-long secret war when he uses this book to take on a school bully. But when Owen's spell casting draws the attention of a ruthless millionaire and a secret society of anti-magic mercenaries, he must decide how much he's willing to risk to keep magic alive in the world.
 


 MY TIDBITS

Owen is a fairly average thirteen-year-old. He thinks so too. When his parents separate and he moves to a new school, things start to get stressful. While escaping a bunch of bullies, Owen ends up in a book store and receives a guide to magic. It seems pretty hard—he has to actually practice and work up to things—but he's determined and is soon using spells for his own purpose. His goal is to get his parents back together. But things don't stay smooth, and soon he finds himself caught up in a magical war, where he and his new found friends must save the book and maybe the world.

This is a very clever dive into a magical tale. It's built up like a text book, but at the same time, reveals Owen's exciting story and experiences. There are footnotes and other notations, which add lovely little tidbits. . .some quite funny. . .which help avoid information dumps an insure that the reader receives the things they need to know. As Owen discovers magic, so does the reader. And it's exactly this format which is not only engaging but a delight to read.

Owen is average, and he sees himself that way too. He isn't exactly a hard worker, but when something is important enough to him (like find the right spell), he does put forth the effort. Readers will have no trouble sympathizing with him and will see some of themselves reflected in him. His friends are a sheer delight, each so different from the other. While Owen's story drives the main plot, his friends aren't forgotten and have their own problems which need to be solved. This gives the book just the right amount of depth, and several interesting layers as well. This group also makes sure that Owen does sit as the only capable character, but rather lets the balance of friendship and working together shine through.

Imagination fills this story as Owen discovers the world of magic. Some questions surrounding the magical world are left open, but most of the story wraps up in a lovely end. There's never a boring moment, but then, with the illustrations and other notations, there's always something to look forward to. Even the plot is not easy to predict and maintains a quick pace until the end. 

Summed up, this is an entertaining read which is sure to grab the interest of young fantasy and magic friends.



Book Buzz!

"The book's inventive format incorporates spellbook elements, including engraving-style illustrations, droll sidebars, and spell instructions... it's a charming package and a drily funny adventure." —Publishers Weekly

"Matt Harry has a knack for taking what's already a fun concept (of his very own creation) and making it even more fun throughout. Sorcery for Beginners makes me wish I had this book when I was Owen Macready's age. The story casts a spell of its own." —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger's Hunt, screenwriter of The RookieRadio, and Finding Forrester

 "Wonderfully hilarious, delightful, and charming." —Paula Yoo, author of Good Enough

"Fun premise that sorcery can be taught in a 'For Dummies'-type format. Clever and intriguing." —Helena Echlin & Malena Watrous, authors of Sparked


 https://www.inkshares.com/books/sorcery-for-beginners

And here they are. . .


The Author!

Matt Harry received an MFA in Film Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and has
worked as a filmmaker, editor, screenwriter, college professor, movie critic, and story consultant. His writing has been published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon-Journal, and the textbook The Elements of Style. He has received accolades from the FOX Comedy Script Contest, the Austin Film Festival, the Launchpad Manuscript Competition, and the Nicholl Fellowships. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. Sorcery for Beginners is his first novel.








The Illustrator!


Juliane Crump grew up in Los Angeles. She studied music in high school, art history at Yale, and film at USC before becoming a graphic designer for film and television. You can find her work on ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, and at sloegoods.com. While sorcery eludes her, she makes magic every day with her Wacom tablet, her bagpipes, and her family of boys.