Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Blast: Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas

The story will grab you from page one, and keep you mesmerized until the last page. ~ Kristy James

My nine year old daughter and I enjoyed it very much. ~ Gman Writes

From the Award Winning Author of Millicent Marie is Not My Name

Ballet and baking pies – these are two of twelve year old Georgie Harris’ favorite things. When her parents decide to move closer to her grandmother’s nursing home, Georgie quickly learns the bad news: dance lessons are too expensive in this new town. 

Georgie spends most of her time baking pies to bring to her grandmother at the Willow Lakes Nursing Home. There she meets Eve, who inspires Georgie with stories of having danced with a world famous Russian ballerina many years ago.

As Georgie and Eve’s friendship evolves, their tales intertwine in this feel good story showing dreams really can come true.

Buy at Amazon and B&N


A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by the author. Giveaway is sponsored by the author who is responsible for the delivery of prize. YOUR BLOG NAME received no compensation for this post.  Flag for copyright


Karen Pokras Toz writes middle grade and adult contemporary fiction. Her books have won several awards including two Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, First Place in the Children’s Chapter Books category and the Grand Prize overall in the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, as well as placing first for two Global E-Book Awards for Pre-Teen Literature. Her books for children include the Nate Rocks series, Millicent Marie Is Not My Name, and Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas. For adults, she recently published Chasing Invisible. A native of Connecticut, Karen now lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and three children. For more information, please visit

Monday, September 23, 2013

Stacey Rourke Cover Reveal!

Well friends, we have some more exciting news! The award winning Gryphon Series from best selling author Stacey Rourke has made some exciting changes. Each book will have all new covers and AMAZING illustrations. But that's not all, today you are getting a sneak peek at ...Ascension!

I am so excited to read this one!  Check out the art, and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

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From best selling and award winning author Stacey Rourke comes the heart-pounding continuation of the acclaimed Gryphon Series.
The turning point of the Gryphon saga is at hand …
Battle looms. Three unstoppable forces prepare to clash in a colossal explosion that could wipe Gainesboro off the map. Fate and sacred calling have landed nineteen year old Celeste Garrett in the middle with nowhere to run.
Her trust wavers as she uncovers dark secrets of the Council, powerful enough to test her loyalty and turn her against those she swore to protect. Playing to the longing of her heart, a malevolent enemy uses her weakness against her to form an alliance.
With the trumpets of war about to sound, which side will the Conduit choose, and who will be left standing?

Illustrator Crystal Ord will be bringing some of your favorite Gryphon Series characters to life!
Crystal Smalls Ord is a freelance illustrator and writer who resides in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Her art and stories have appeared in the macabre children's lit magazine, Underneath the Juniper Tree. Last year she illustrated her first children's book, Ethan's Story; My Life with Autism which can be found on Her art has also appeared in's musical short, Madamoiselle Noir.
In her free time Crystal plays with her kids, cleans house, teaches music in Sunday School, and lingers in the geekery corner of Pinterest.
Contact her at:
The demonic and fantasy elements of the Conduit’s journey will jump off the page thanks to Robert Immings;
In 2000 Robert Immings graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta with a BFA in graphic design. Since then he’s done work in package design, web development and designed training applications and software interfaces. These days he’s a mild mannered operations technician with an electronic trading firm in Alpharetta Georgia. Earlier this.year he had a chance to enter Sony's "Treasures of Middle Earth" design contest which was a promotion for the hobbit movie. He came in as a runner up. More recently he had the opportunity to do some sketches and collaborate on the cover for Emily Fogel's wonderful fantasy novel Dragon Wars and created the cover for her soon to be released book "Chasing Flames". Right now he’s excited to be working on a collection of illustrations for Stacey Rourke's Gryphon Series.
He’s always interested in illustration and graphic design projects and can be contacted at


Author of the Laugh-out Loud Gryphon Series and the nonfiction book I'm Not Crazy I'm on Lupron; a Journey Through Infertility. Learn more about Stacey's books at or If you are a blogger or reviewer interested in reviewing any of Mrs. Rourke's work please contact Sara O'Connor at Gliterary Girl Media. Thank you for visiting this page!
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review: The Hitwoman and the Neurotic Witness

Let me tell you about how much I love J. B. Lynn - she's awesome!  Not only does she write immersive, funny as heck stuff, but she's also super nice!

How do I know this?

Well, I don't mean to brag, but I've gotten the chance to chat with her on twitter before.  I have an author crush on her, as well as Stacey Rourke (The Gryphon Series).  I'd like to sit around with these ladies, drink coffee, and have them write stories just for me.  Does that sound creepy?  Too bad.


The Neurotic Witness is the 5th book in Lynn's Hitwoman series, although I have read them all this year.  Part of me wishes that I had been aware of this series from the start, but the other part is glad that I didn't have to wait and wait around for each book.  It was hard enough waiting for this one, and now it's over and I'm back to waiting!

Crazy aunts, talking animals and one hunky hitman/police detective fill this book.  Maggie's life is a constant whirlwind, and I swear she never gets to sit down. Who is the mob boss going to demand that she kill next?  Is her niece, Katie ever going to fully recover from the car accident?  Why did her apartment blow up?  Can she really talk to animals?  Most important of all - is Patrick ever going to leave his wife?  I loved every minute of this book.

It took me a day and a half to read this book, and that's only because I've got a puny kiddo and husband on my hands.  I ate this book up like I was dining at an all you can eat sushi place.  If you decide to give the series a try, let Lynn know I sent you.  I need all the brownie points I can get with my author crushes!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review: The Faceless One

Not since Jeff Gunhus's Night Chill have I been so creeped out by a book!  If you want a good, scary story to read for the Halloween season, grab a copy of The Faceless One.  But if you do, be prepared to have a major case of the heebie-jeebies!  (read: warning - graphic!)

There are many different angles and perspectives in this story, but rest assured that they will all come together somehow.  A man in a nursing home, a police detective, a suburban family - the Big Bad Thing (aka faceless one) is tormenting everyone in some way.  Previously held prisoner in Alaska, it's out and world destruction is at the top of it's to-do list. 

I read through this book in less than a week.  I really had to keep reading to see what was going to happen next.  If you like mystery, sci-fi and gore, read this book.  It's also got a bit of history to it, although fictional.  Mark Onspaugh did a wonderful job of creating an intricate, convincing plot.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Daven Says

I have come to the realization that the most bizarre things that Daven says happens in the bathroom. Tonight was just one of many examples. 

He was standing in front of the potty trying to go. He was examining himself and said, "It's an airplane!"  He then made some flying noises and flew his "airplane" around the bathroom. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Preschool Party Poopers

 Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Daven's first day of preschool

I have been silently dreading preschool all summer long.  We would mention it and talk to Daven about it in excited tones, but internally I was in a constant state of freak-out.  My baby can't possibly be big enough to go to school, not for any length of time.  I think I'll home school.  We'll make sandcastles and count ants and never be apart.

Having a January birthday, Daven is pretty much in the middle of his class, age-wise.  Since his age group is actually split into two different classes, this makes him one of the younger kids in the older two of the younger groups.  Does that even make sense?  He's in the older section of the three year old class, but he's the younger one of that group. 

I volunteered to help because a.) The thought of physically leaving the building while Daven is there makes me feel like a knife has been stabbed into my gut and b.) Daven does not meet the criteria of being fully bathroom independent.  He's great about going potty when we are out and about, but he still needs some help.

For anyone who has a household where the Disney channel is constantly playing, you've probably seen (and enjoyed) Good Luck Charlie. 

When Charlie starts preschool, the mom, Amy, is certain that there will be a crying, clinging meltdown at drop-off.  She is comically disappointed when her little girl basically said "peace out" and went into her classroom.  This is not what happened with us.  Daven made me feel like I was abandoning him in a cold, dirty alley street in the city. 

Photo from

The first day, he stayed and played in the room fine when I slipped out to start helping with the older class's music time.  But when it was time for Daven's group to come in to music, he was the last kid down the hall, screaming, crying, and throwing swims at one of his teachers.  Once inside the music room, he clung to me at the piano.  I was completely overwhelmed with trying to reassure him, get him to participate with his class, and sight read all of the songs at the same time.  (I'm sure if any of my music professors are reading this, they are laughing big, Santa-like laughs at the idea of me being able to sight-read anything at the piano.  It's my theory that they passed me on piano proficiency out of pity.)

I have a small break between music class and skills lab, so I followed his class down to the bathroom.  After that was snack, and Daven calmed a bit for food.  I spent the next hour and a half trying to help another teacher and keep myself from physically shaking from anxiety.  The end of the day bathroom break from Daven's class led to a full-scale meltdown.  I was in the hallway with the other parents waiting to get our kids and I heard over and over, "I want to give my mommy a hug!  I want to give my mommy a hug!"  Other moms looked at me with sympathetic eyes while I silently cried in the hall.  I wanted to scoop him up in my arms and hold him tight.  And why wasn't the teacher reassuring him at all?

When they finally opened the door to the classroom and told us that we could come in, Daven was so upset and so worked up that his whole face was red and he was hot to the touch like he could have had a fever.  He clung to me, sobbing and struggling to catch his breath.  I wanted to take him home and never bring him back.

The second day of school was, in some ways, worse than the first.  Daven begged me not to take him to school.  He wanted to stay home with me.  "But mommy will be there the whole time.  You don't need to be sad.  You get to play and make friends and learn."  He was not impressed.  I told him that we would leave early so that I would have a few minutes to play with him before I had to go to music.  But once we got there, all the doors were locked.  They are serious about the older class not starting until 9:15 and they won't let you inside until then.  I found out later that I have to knock on a different door and someone will let me in.  I told them that if they wanted me to be able to start on the piano in music on time, they've got to let me come in the building and get my kiddo settled first.

"Play with me, mommy!  Stay here and play with me!"  But I only had about a minute, and as soon as I hugged him and told him I would see him in a little bit for music class, he started crying.  It broke my heart into so many pieces.  His teacher told me to just go and that he would be fine.  I ended up walking into the music room in tears with a room already full of twenty some-odd four and five year olds. 

When his class came into music, he still would not hardly leave my side.  Now add to the anxiety the guilt that I felt, knowing that had I not been there in his music class, he might have been happier.  Having me there seems to make him more upset.  And although I suspect that his teachers don't like it, I followed his class to their potty break again.  I had to give him about twenty hugs before he would sit down for snack.  I promised that I would be there for him when it was time for school to be over.

Thankfully, his teachers said that the second half of the school day went much better without all the tears.  When I came into his classroom, he was happy and had a bunch of art work to take home.  I should be relieved.  Except that when family asked him how preschool went, he would say "Not good."  He has also let me know that he doesn't want his teachers to teach him.  He wants Grandma Donna to be his teacher.

Fast forward to this morning, when I felt like I needed to go ahead and remind him that we would be going to his school tomorrow.    I tried to casually put it into the conversation.  I talked about how this afternoon we were going to go to Hubers with great papaw and other family members and then tomorrow we get to go to school.  Total meltdown.  I could see the panic on his face as tears welled up in his eyes and he told me that he didn't want to go.  He would go back and forth between being ok with the idea and doing fun things there to panic again that I wasn't going to be right by his side.  "You will be there to get me, right?"  "Will you be there to pick me up?"  I pray that this week somehow goes more smoothly.  I know that he can make fast friends if he just calms down and relaxes.  It upsets me that he has gotten this panic problem from me. 

Say a prayer for us, send some good vibes, whatever it is that you do.  And if you see me, give me a hug.  I am hoping that the next time I write about his schooling that it will be filled with positivity and happy transitions. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Daven Says: Gender Roles

Apparently daddy isn't allowed to wash Daven in the bath tub. He said that daddy isn't very good at it. I asked him why daddy couldn't wash him. 

"Because daddy fixes things like the potty. And you have to wash me. "

Daddy does the fixin' and I do the washin'. Too bad I had to do the washin' of the dishes first!