Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas and Farewell 2015




This is not a California scene, unless you're in the Sierras. But we are getting some rain, and some is better than what we had last year, which was none. 

Because I tend to be an optimist (even in these times when I should know better) I planted tulips and daffodils all over the place. The rain will come, I'm sure, and so will those brilliant blooms. 



I won't be blogging until after the year ends, so this is both a Christmas greeting and a farewell to 2015. May 2016 usher in things like world peace, and no more hunger for anyone, and tolerance, and excellent books

Quote of the Week: "Always be in the lookout for the presence of wonder." E.B. White.

What are your wishes for 2016? 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

It's great to be back and to kick off my return I'm welcoming Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson to the HATS OFF CORNER! 




Release date: DECEMBER 1, 2015
Delacorte Press/ Random House Kids Books
MIDDLE GRADE/ ages 10 and up
ISBN: 978-0-385-74471-3
Authors: Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson
Illustrator: Roman Muradov
Publicity Contact: Samuel Terris sterris@penguinrandomhouse.com

Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom. 



As if leaving Manhatten and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad, weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past. 




Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where she finds an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a curious portrait of a red-haired lady. These seemingly unrelated items prove to be the first in a series of clues that takes Fairday, the visiting Lizzy, and their new squad member, Marcus, on an amazing adventure.






Can the members of the Detective Mystery Squad piece together the puzzle before it’s too late? Or will whatever’s causing trouble find Fairday and her friends first? 




Catch the Book Buzz. . .


"I really enjoyed this book. It was a marvelously done, debut, thriller novel. Ms. Robinson and Ms. Haight are great authors that really pull you into their story. I couldn’t get out until that final sentence. And, by then I wanted more. To say I want a second book is an understatement. The writing style is compelling, and makes me feel as if I was there with Fairday and her friends. I really like the illustrations in the book. They are like the ribbon on a present, or the icing on the cake. I give this book five out of five bookworms!"
~ Erik Weibel/ This Kid Reviews Books  

"Mixing realism and fantasy, Haight and Robinson’s debut opens with 11-year-old Fairday’s move from Manhattan to a small town in Connecticut, where her relentlessly cheerful parents plan to turn a dilapidated Victorian into a bed and breakfast. No sooner has the family arrived than eerie sights and sounds begin to haunt Fairday. The house turns out to hold dark secrets that everybody in town suspects but nobody can explain: a perfect mission for Fairday and her best friend Lizzy’s Detective Mystery Squad (DMS)."
~ Publishers Weekly

"Fifth-grader Fairday Morrow's new home lives up to its spooky reputation, but she and her companions in the Detective Mystery Squad find out why. At Begonia House, strains of bagpipe music issue from behind a padlocked door, grains of sand in an hourglass have stopped falling, and a malevolent weeping willow looms in the backyard. A magic mirror shows an invisible door; a wardrobe hides secrets and a portal. Ruby Begonia vanished more than 50 years ago. Is there also a ghost? Fairday has a new, helpful friend in classmate Marcus, and her best friend Lizzy can visit on weekends to help solve the mystery. What more could readers want?"
~ Kirkus Reviews









JessicaHaight is a true New Englander, with a deep desire to be near the ocean and a love of the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. She easily floats away in the pages of a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts.


StephanieRobinson lives with her husband in a quiet town, though not as quaint as Ashpot. After teaching fifth grade for almost fifteen years, she is now enjoying her role as a school media specialist. 


Good luck you two. So happy you could visit with me today. 

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And here's my Christmas spirit showing. If you have young readers, I hope you'll take advantage of my 50% off sale on The Great Time Lock Disaster, Sequel to Alligators Overhead. Here's the coupon to use at SmashwordsSC99M

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Quote for the Week: "No one has ever become poor by giving." Anne Frank

Monday, December 7, 2015

Back Again

While I had every intention of visiting all blogs and doing more Twitter and more FB while I was on break, that didn't happen. Here's what did.


I went to Cuba. (more about that later)






I went to Mexico. (more about that later, too)





I came home. (his was the sensible choice for security)






I got sick.





I got sicker.




I'm just now climbing from between the sheets and looking around at what's happening in the world. 



And discovering it's Christmas. Really?


All of that is my way of saying sorry I didn't stop in to say hi. But I did do some things. I sent out my Special Offers Newsletter and I chose a winner! Lelia's name came out of the hat this time, so a signed copy of Double Negative is hers. Thanks for signing up for my Newsletter, Lelia. Each month I either offer something or I find special offers by others. Hope you'll sign up.

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I'm trying to get up to speed. Give me a push if you see me start to slide. Oh, and if you can please stop by Cover Wars to vote. There was a glitch in October, so all the votes were dumped. Maybe this has brought on my bed-ridden condition. The Great Time Lock Disaster needs help! I also see that Patricia Lynne's Snapshots is up for votes. And there are more. Vote everyday. Vote for several of your choice. It's kind of fun.

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Quote for the week: 
If you can accept losing, you can't win. Vince Lombardi

What do you suggest for getting back on track after a break and then after being totally out of it for days? Are you ready for Christmas? Do you know about Masquerade Crew and their Cover Wars?